Covid Preparedness Plan
Minnesota Quality Care Inc. is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our workers, clients, guests and visitors. To ensure we have a safe and healthy workplace, Minnesota Quality Care has developed the following COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Managers and workers are all responsible for implementing this plan. Our goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 in our workplaces and communities, and that requires full cooperation among our workers and management. Only through this cooperative effort can we establish and maintain the safety and health of all persons in our workplaces.
The COVID-19 Preparedness Plan is administered by Abdiwadi Husen who maintains the overall authority and responsibility for the plan. However, management and workers are equally responsible for supporting, implementing, complying with and providing recommendations to further improve all aspects of this COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. Minnesota Quality Care’s managers and supervisors have our full support in enforcing the provisions of this plan.
Our workers are our most important assets. We are serious about safety and health and protecting its workers. Worker involvement is essential in developing and implementing a successful COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. We have involved our workers in this process by: soliciting their feedback and suggestions and integrating them into the plan.
Minnesota Quality Care’s COVID-19 Preparedness Plan follows the industry guidance developed by the state of Minnesota, which is based upon Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines for COVID-19, Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MNOSHA) statutes, rules and standards, and Minnesota’s relevant and current executive orders. It addresses:
- ensuring sick workers stay home and prompt identification and isolation of sick persons;
- social distancing – workers must be at least six-feet apart;
- worker hygiene and source controls;
- workplace building and ventilation protocol;
- workplace cleaning and disinfection protocol;
- drop-off, pick-up and delivery practices and protocol; and
- communications and training practices and protocol.
Minnesota Quality Care has reviewed and incorporated the industry guidance applicable to our business provided by the state of Minnesota for the development of this plan. Other conditions and circumstances included in the industry guidance and addressed in the plan that are specific to our business include:
- Providing curbside service for picking up and dropping off timesheets and checks
- Providing all checks to be mailed rather then picked up in person.
- Provide masks and gloves to all PCA’s that request them.
- The building is cleaned on a daily business
- Only essential personal allowed into the building including administrative staff and cleaning personal
- Easy access to washing hands and hand sanitizer when in office bulding
- All administrative staff have private working stations that allow for isolation
- 6 feet apart social distancing stickers have been placed at the front entrance of the office
- Installment of texting to announce any new information that the PCA’s may need to use
- Qualified Professional visits are all done over the phone as allowed per DHS
Ensure sick workers stay home and prompt identification and isolation of sick persons
Workers have been informed of and encouraged to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. These symptoms include fever of 100.4 or higher; new and persistent dry cough; difficulty breathing (unable to hold their breath for 20 to 30 seconds) or unusual fatigue. When any of these symptoms are present, the employee must notify Abdiwadi Husen The worker is to stay home until the fever has been absent for three consecutive days without the use of medication. If the worker exhibits symptoms while at work, they are to ensure the safety of the client and then leave the premises. If they need to stay until another worker can arrive, they are to self-isolate and make sure they are wearing a mask and following other source control measures, e.g., hygiene and social distancing of at least six feet.
Workers with ongoing symptoms are strongly encouraged to contact their health care provider to determine if they should be tested for COVID-19. If they are tested, they are not to work until they receive the results of the test. If they receive a positive test, they are to immediately notify Abdiwadi Husen and not report to work until 14 calendar days have passed since the day of initial symptoms. Results of the test are to be reported: Abdiwadi Husen who will track positive cases and contact the Minnesota Department of Health. The Minnesota Department of Health will provide guidance regarding reporting and follow up.
Minnesota Quality Care has leave policies that promote workers staying at home when they are sick, when household members are sick, or when required by a health care provider to isolate or quarantine themselves or a member of their household. See the employee policies/handbook.
Minnesota Quality Care will follow the Minnesota Department of Health’s guidance for informing workers if they have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 at their workplace and requiring them to quarantine for the required amount of time. Any notification will protect the confidentiality of the individual who has contracted COVID-19 virus, according to the standards of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
Social distancing – Workers must be at least six-feet apart
Social distancing of at least six feet will be implemented and maintained between workers, clients, guests and visitors whenever possible. Due to the nature of Personal Care Assistant services, social distancing between a worker and a client is not always possible.
For office workers at Minnesota Quality Care workers will be encouraged to work remotely when possible. If they need to work in the office, they will be required to maintain social distancing of more than six feet from other coworkers. If this is not possible both workers are required to wear a cloth facemask. Hand sanitizer will be available in the office and workers are encouraged to use it when the arrive and before they leave. Phones, pens, computer equipment, desks, cubicles, workstations, offices or other personal work tools and equipment will not be shared and, if used by more than one person, will be cleaned and disinfected between users.
Screening and Policies for Persons Served Exhibiting Sings and Symptoms of COVID-19
Qualified Professionals – QP visits may provide all required in-person oversight via two-way interactive telecommunications (phone or internet technology) for all people who receive services, including people who are new to receiving PCA services or transferring to the agency. The effective dates are as follows:
• PCA Choice: The change is effective retroactively to May 12, 2020, when the governor approved the commissioner’s authority. DHS will seek approval from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and update providers if an additional retroactive effective date is approved due to
Minnesota Department of Human Services · PO Box 64238 · St. Paul, MN 55164-0238
the state plan amendment to remove the requirement for in-home QP at the 180-day visit for PCA Choice.
• Traditional PCA: Effective retroactively to March 19, 2020, which is the effective date approved by CMS.
If a face-to-face visit is required for a Qualified Professional (QP), the QP must ensure that they are not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 as described above. If they are, they are to reschedule the visit, or if allowed, use remote technology to perform the visit.
Before conducting the face-to-face visit, the QP or the agency will conduct a screening with the client/responsible party no more than 24 hours before the visit is to occur. The screening shall consist of asking the following three questions:
- Do you have any signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or sore throat? Yes or No
- Have you tested positive for COVID-19? Yes or No, if yes, test date and results, positive, negative or pending?
- In the past 14 days, have you had contact with a household member who was exposed to the COVID-19 virus? Yes or No. If Yes, explain what the exposure was.
If the person answers “yes” to question 1, the scheduled visit will not be provided until the symptoms have subsided for a minimum of three consecutive days, without the use of medications.
If the person answers “yes” to question 2, the scheduled visit can occur if the results are negative. If the results are positive or pending, the visit should be rescheduled. The QP will work with the individual’s team to ensure care is being provide.
If the person answers “yes” to question 3, discuss the exposure with the person and assist them in determining if they should get tested. Follow the guidelines above for when someone has been tested to COVID-19.
If the person answers “no” to all the questions, or it is determined there is not a risk, e.g., the person was tested, but the results were negative, the visit can occur as scheduled. The QP is required to wear a cloth or surgical face mask during the entire visit, shoe covers in the home are optional, depending on the desires of the client or responsible party. The agency will make a good faith effort to provide each QP with a face mask. QPs may acquire and use personal face masks. QPs must ensure face masks are sanitized after each day, using guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), www.cdc.gov or the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), www.health.state.mn.us .
QPs should wash their hands upon arrival and at departure or use hand sanitizer (consisting of at least 60% alcohol).
Personal Care Assistants – Personal Care Assistants (PCA) are required to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 as described above. PCAs are required to wear face masks when working with clients. The agency will make good faith efforts to provide PCAs with either cloth or surgical face masks. PCAs may acquire and use personal face masks. PCAs must ensure face masks are sanitized after each day, using guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), www.cdc.gov or the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), www.health.state.mn.us .
Whenever possible clients should be encouraged to wear a face mask as well.
PCAs are required to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water frequently throughout their sift, but especially upon arrival and prior to departure, prior to mealtimes, after using the restroom, after assisting with personal cares, and after blowing their nose.
PCAs are to wear gloves when assisting with meals, personal cares, cleaning and other duties that carry a higher risk of infection. See the agencies policy on Infection Control.
Management of the agency reserves the right to make wearing masks optional for employees or clients based on recommendations of MDH for those who have a signed directive from their health care provider stating that the person has a health concern that is not compatible with wearing a face mask. Alternative, such as a face shield may be provided.
Worker hygiene and source controls
Basic infection prevention measures are being implemented at our workplaces at all times. Workers are instructed to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water frequently throughout the day, but especially at the beginning and end of their shift, prior to any mealtimes and after using the restroom. All clients, guests and visitors to the office are required to wash or sanitize their hands prior to or immediately upon entering the office. Hand-sanitizer dispensers (that use sanitizers of greater than 60% alcohol) are at entrances and locations in the workplace so they can be used for hand hygiene in place of soap and water, as long as hands are not visibly soiled.
Workers, clients, guests and visitors are being instructed to cover their mouth and nose with their sleeve or a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and to avoid touching their face, particularly their mouth, nose and eyes, with their hands. They are expected to dispose of tissues in provided trash receptacles and wash or sanitize their hands immediately afterward. Respiratory etiquette will be demonstrated on posters and supported by making tissues and trash receptacles available to all workers and other persons entering the workplace.
Workplace building and ventilation protocol
The office(s) for Minnesota Quality Care includes necessary sanitation, assessment and maintenance of building systems, including water, plumbing, electrical, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. The maximum amount of fresh air is being brought into the workplace, air recirculation is being limited, and ventilation systems are being properly used and maintained. Steps are also being taken to minimize air flow blowing across people.
Workplace cleaning and disinfection protocol
Regular practices of cleaning and disinfecting have been implemented, including a schedule for routine cleaning and disinfecting of work surfaces, equipment, tools and machinery, vehicles and areas in the work environment, including restrooms, break rooms, lunch rooms, meeting rooms, checkout stations, fitting rooms, and drop-off and pick-up locations. Frequent cleaning and disinfecting is being conducted of high-touch areas, including phones, keyboards, touch screens, controls, door handles, elevator panels, railings, copy machines, credit card readers, delivery equipment, etc. If a worker is diagnosed with COVID-19 and was in the workplace within X days of being diagnosed extra disinfecting will be done of the work area, especially in the areas where the worker was. Employees will be required to wear gloves when disinfecting surfaces and will be provided with information on donning and doffing of gloves. Gloves will not be reused.
Appropriate and effective cleaning and disinfecting supplies have been purchased and are available for use in accordance with product labels, safety data sheets and manufacturer specifications, and are being used with required personal protective equipment for the product.
For PCAs working in the client’s home, they should assist with disinfecting surfaces, focusing on the high touch areas such as door knobs, handles, counters, etc.
Communications and training practices and protocol
This COVID-19 Preparedness Plan was communicated to all workers on 6-29-2020 in a text directing them to the website where the information is posted on 7-3-2020 a copy was included in all employees check envelopes. and necessary training was provided. Additional communication and training will be ongoing as we learn more about COVID-19 and ways to reduce the spread by updating this plan and using the same process to communicate with all workers. Training will be provided to all workers who did not receive the initial training and prior to initial assignment or reassignment.
Instructions will be communicated to all workers, including employees, temporary workers, staffing and labor-pools, independent contractors, subcontractors, vendors and outside techniciansclients, guests and visitors via posters at our location about protections and protocols, including: 1) social distancing protocols and practices; 2) drop-off, pick-up, and delivery; 3) practices for hygiene and respiratory etiquette; 4) recommendations or requirements regarding the use of masks, face-coverings and/or face-shields by workers clients, guests and visitors. They will also be advised not to enter the workplace if they are experiencing symptoms or have contracted COVID-19.
Managers and supervisors are expected to monitor how effective the program has been implemented. All management and workers are to take an active role and collaborate in carrying out the various aspects of this plan, and update the protections, protocols, work-practices and training as necessary. This COVID-19 Preparedness Plan has been certified by Minnesota Quality Care’s management and the plan was posted throughout the workplace and made readily available to employees 6/29/2020. It will be updated as necessary by Abdiwadi Husen.
Additional protections and protocols
This section will be updated as additional guidance is obtained.
Minnesota Quality Care, Inc
Minnesota Quality care is committed to doing its part to ensure the health and safety of our staff and clients. We anticipate that Minnesota Quality Care will be able to continue to fully serve our 500 plus clients throughout this pandemic event.
Quality health care is our core value and we will continue to do our part to protect the health and safety of our communities and minimize the impact that the Corana virus has on the local health care systems and the people who depend on us.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Minnesota Quality Care office open?
Yes, we will be open but with minimal staff and would encourage all PCA’s and clients to call 612-872-8811 with any questions before coming to the office.
How will I get paid over the next month?
The March 27th, 2020 and August 28, 2020 checks will be mailed to your address on file if you need to update your address please call the office 612-872-8811 or email Zamzam at firstname.lastname@example.org
How should I turn in my timesheets?
Please do one of the following to turn in your timesheets over the next month
- Via fax 612-872-8866
- Via Email email@example.com
- Mail 1421 Park Ave S Suite 104
Minneapolis, MN 55404
What if I have symptoms?
If you feel that you are not well, the CDC advises you to stay home if you are sick and to consult with your local health department about steps to mitigate coronavirus.
How can I prevent infection at my house?
Please follow guidance issued by the CDC on preventing infection. You can view their guidance here
For People Receiving Services
What if my worker has symptoms?
The CDC advises workers to stay home if they are sick and to consult with their local health department about steps to mitigate Coronavirus
What if my worker won’t come
Please call the office at 612-872-8811 and we can look into your backup plan.
What do I do if I cannot get a hold of my case manager and the agency is closed?
MQC would be happy to reach out to the agency on your behalf.
Will MQC be paying early if there is a nationwide quarantine?
No, MQC will continue to follow the posted payroll schedule.
For Service Providers
Will I still receive payment for my time worked?
Yes, MQC will remain fully operational throughout this crisis. Our dedicated team is working to ensure all timesheets are processed and payments are issued as normal.
What do I do if I can’t provide care?
Please notify your client and contact us as soon as possible ir you are unable to provide care due to illness or any other reason. What if the person I am serving has symptoms?
The CDC recommends using Standard Transmission-based Precautions when serving individuals who may have symptoms. See here
Will I be paid if I cannot provide services because I am sick/quarantined?
No. MQC can only pay for services you have provided however you may qualify for sick/safe time.