Happy Holidays From Atlantic & COVID-19 Update

Best wishes for happy holidays this season of hope. Our offices will be closed on Christmas Day and New Years Day but we will answer caregiver and client calls 24/7 as always.





Atlantic In-Home Care Information for Clients & Contracted Caregivers:

Information is provided on COVID-19 as an independent contractor receiving client referrals from our nurse registry based on CDC guidance. It is important to confront the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it is impacting the homecare industry overall and the services you provide to clients. This dangerous virus has changed the logistics of how homecare services are provided, and it is something that will impact every aspect of your work as an independent contractor.

The registry is monitoring COVID-19 closely and is taking the spread of this coronavirus throughout our local communities seriously. The registry stays informed and will follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Florida Department of Health, the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) as well as other national, local, and county authorities. The registry’s response will continue to be in accordance with the ongoing recommendations from these organizations.  All contractors will be informed of any changes in the registry’s response as time goes on and the circumstances surrounding the pandemic evolve.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a type of coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can cause illnesses such as the common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). In late 2019, a new coronavirus was identified as the cause of a disease outbreak that originated in China. The virus is now known as the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The disease it causes is called coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on our local, national, and global communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has had the greatest impact on the aging and ill population in our country. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. The goal of our organization is to protect both our clients and staff from COVID-19. Potential exposure to this virus can be minimized but there is no guarantee working in our local community that both clients and staff members will not be exposed, especially when the virus is highly contagious and prevalent.

Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19

People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms–ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. The virus can still be transmitted to others when someone is asymptomatic. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with the following symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This variation in symptoms and the fact that people can carry and transmit the virus when they do not have any signs or symptoms of the illness at all makes it even more important to follow safety precautions for decreasing the likelihood of exposure to this dangerous virus.

Modes of Transmission

Current evidence suggests that transmission of SARS-CoV-2 occurs primarily between people through direct, indirect, or close contact with infected people through infected secretions such as saliva and respiratory secretions, or through respiratory droplets or aerosolized particles which are expelled when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks or sings. Respiratory droplets may land on objects and surfaces, as well. Other people may contract COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth. While it is possible to get the virus this way, it is not thought to be the main mode of transmission for the virus. Airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 can occur in confined spaces or during medical procedures that generate aerosols (“aerosol generating procedures”.)

 Incubation Period

A real challenge for preventing the potential transmission of COVID-19 is the long incubation period of the virus. An incubation period is defined as the amount of time that passes between the time a person is infected with a virus and the point in time that symptoms develop. On average for COVID-19, symptoms showed up in the newly infected person about 5 days after exposure to the virus. Rarely, symptoms appeared as soon as 2 days after exposure. Most people with symptoms develop them within 12 days after an exposure to the virus.

 Safety Guidelines

As a part of your contractual relationship with the registry, you are providing services to a population that is vulnerable to getting COVID-19. Following specific safety and care guidelines is an essential part of your role in homecare and your effort to follow these guidelines will help to keep clients safe. The goal is to minimize the likelihood of an exposure and someone potentially contracting the illness. We are recommending that you adopt the guidelines, as follows:

  • Hand Hygiene

The most effective way of preventing the spread of illness is practicing proper hand hygiene during your everyday life. Remember to wash your hands frequently for at least 20 second or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

  • Preventing Transmission

All contractors must monitor their health, the health of those living with them, and the health of their friends or family members with whom they come into close contact. If you or another member of your household gets sick, please notify the Nurse Registry immediately. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that “It is clear from available evidence and experience, that limiting close contact between infected people and others is central to breaking chains of transmission of the virus causing COVID-19.”

  • Home Visit Safety Precautions

During each home visit with a client, we recommend abiding by the following safety precautions:

  • Screening—screen the client for the presence of respiratory illness symptoms upon arrival to the home.
  • Mask Use—clients should wear a face covering when receiving personal care. Contractors are recommended to wear a face covering, surgical mask, N-95 mask, or KN-95 mask when in a client’s home. Masks slow the spread of COVID-19 because they help keep people who are infected from spreading respiratory droplets to others when they cough, sneeze, or talk.
  • PPE—in addition to wearing masks, all contractors are required to wear PPE as required by the registry in client homes as well as assisted living facilities or nursing homes where they are providing services. Gloves are to be worn while providing personal care.

The registry will provide you with links to additional information on how to properly put on and take off PPE (including masks, goggles, gowns, and gloves). It is important that these procedures are followed in an effort to keep everyone safe.  The improper use of PPE can contribute to the transmission of COVID-19.

  • Social Distancing—Social distancing of at least six feet should be maintained as much as feasible during home visits.
  • Communication—The registry’s plan will not work to support contractors and clients’ safety without frequent and effective communication. It is important to talk to your clients, monitor the circumstances in the client’s home, and report any questions or concerns to the Florida Department of Health or registry office.


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