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COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

  • Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine will be voluntary, not mandatory.
  • Healthcare workers have priority access to the vaccine, and it is free for all who receive it.
  • Access to the vaccine is equal for all healthcare workers, with no distinctions based on job title.
  • No roll-back of PPE standards, COVID leave, workers compensation protections, and other safety standards as a result of a vaccine being made available.

Facility Protection

  • Facility has controlled access, visitors are being kept out and all patients are being screened for symptoms and isolated/masked if they have them.
  • Commitment to refuse entry to symptomatic individuals who refuse to wear a mask.
  • Plan to do temperature checks and symptom screening with anyone entering the building, including employees (with policy for employees who have a temperature, PPE for temperature takers).
  • Plan to ensure that physical distancing is enforced throughout the facility to the greatest possible extent, including employee break/meal areas.
  • Plan to increase security for surge to anticipate increasingly chaotic social conditions.
  • Installation of plexiglass barriers at all windows with public interaction (pharmacy, admitting, etc).

Personal Protective Equipment 

  • Facility has plan in place to ensure that workers have access to appropriate PPE (Review the current hospital inventory of N95 respirator masks, surgical facemasks, face shields, gloves, eye protection and isolation gowns the hospital currently has and how long that stockpile is projected to last).
  • There is clear PPE policy and application of the policy that treats service and technical workers equitably.
  • Transparency related to the hospital’s PPE distribution policy and continuous assessment of its efficacy, which includes incorporation of worker feedback.
  • Training and re-training is ongoing on PPE policies and protocols including safe putting on and removing of PPE.
  • Airborne isolation precautions including N95 respirator masks/PAPRS/CAPRS are being used in all close interactions with confirmed or suspected COVID 19 patients and for any staff present during high-risk procedures for aerosolization of the virus.
  • Clear policy on PPE re-use and sterilization between use and training for all employees involved.

Staff Exposed to COVID-19

  • Ensure that staff who are exposed to COVID-19 are notified immediately.
  • Clear protocol for staff exposed to COVID-19 including what level of exposure employees will be cleared to continue working versus being sent home.
  • Clear policy of no loss of pay, leave time, benefits or seniority when quarantined due to exposure at work.
  • Consistent access to free testing for employees even if they are asymptomatic.
  • Exposed employees trained on how to protect families at home and given PPE to protect families at home.

Space/Surge Capacity

  • Plan in place to increase bed capacity to accommodate surge.
  • Plan in place to transfer patients when maximum capacity is reached.
  • Plan in place to isolate all suspected and known COVID-19 patients and to increase isolation wards for a surge.
  • Plan to expand facility to other settings (tents, rented space) and clarity on how those settings will be staffed and cleaned.
  • Plan to ensure EVS safety including PPE and time lapse before room cleaning continues during surge.

Surge Staffing

  • Clarity on any plan to expand scope of practice of union represented classifications and training for any such expansion.
  • Clarity on plans to use non-clinical workers to meet patient needs during a surge and training for any such employees.
  • Training is beginning now for employees to prepare for surge staffing roles.
  • Plan for utilizing overtime during surge staffing and for implementing maximum shift lengths.

Staff Support 

  • Increased mental health resources to support healthcare workers coping with exhaustion, trauma and stress.
  • Grief counseling for employees experiencing higher frequency of patient deaths.
  • Check-ins with employees working significant overtime to monitor exhaustion levels that can undermine health and effectiveness.
  • Promotion of mental health benefits, EAP resources and any other supports that can help employees through this challenging time.