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March 13, 2020 | Staff News

As cases of COVID-19 are confirmed in Manitoba, program, hospital and unit leadership are implementing plans to help prevent and minimize spread. Your site leadership will provide this information.

Tools for Renal Staff

Patient Handout/Letter *Updated Mar 25*
Patient Visual Handout/Infographic 8.5″x11″ 11″x17″ *New Mar 24*
Unit Entry Restriction Poster General / Dialysis
Unit Entry Screening Algorithm *Updated Mar 27*

There are many resources available to health-care providers on the Shared Health website. Please take time to have a look at what may be useful and relevant to you and your work environment.

Information for the public and about the status of COVID-19 in Manitoba can also be found on the Province of Manitoba’s website: https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/

Screening and Precautions for Health-Care Workers

In response to the evolving COVID-19 situation, all Manitobans, including health care providers, have been strongly advised to cancel or postpone any non-essential international travel.

Effective March 23, 2020, the following guidelines for screening Manitoba health care workers (including staff and physicians) are in place.

Please Note: Those health care workers who returned from international travel prior to March 23, 2020 are directed to follow the public health advice that was in place at the time of their return.

All symptomatic physicians returning from travel, including travel within Canada, must immediately self-identify to their employer’s Occupational Health Services or designate. For organizations that do not have Occupational Health Services, these services will be available centrally for employees by calling toll-free 1-888-203-4066.

All asymptomatic physicians who are returning from travel, including travel within Canada, are directed to contact their site/sector medical director, as applicable, or their organization’s Chief Medical Officer who will determine if they are required to attend the workplace or are deemed “operationally required” to their respective service area. For exemptions deemed necessary, medical leadership must consult with Dr. Allen Kraut, Medical Director, Occupational and Environmental Safety & Health,Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, in order for a risk assessment to be conducted related to the March 25 2020 COVID-19 Guidelines for Screening of Manitoba Health Care Workers (Physicians and Staff) 2 physician’s travel exposure. Further information regarding this process will be provided by the respect Chief Medical Officer of each regional health authority/service delivery organization.

All healthcare workers who are asymptomatic are directed to contact their manager.

All symptomatic physicians and staff returning from international travel or during the 14 day self isolation period if they’ve been deemed “operationally required” and returned to work when they were asymptomatic must immediately self-identify to their employer’s Occupational Health Services or designate. For organization’s that do not have Occupational Health Services, these services will be available centrally for employees by calling toll-free 1-888-203-4066. Based on current guidelines staff and physicians returning from international travel and symptomatic will be referred for testing by Occupational Health Services or designate. This person cannot attend work until negative test results are received AND symptoms have resolved. Please note that even if a negative test result is received, staff with influenza like illness symptoms should not attend work until they feel well and have been afebrile (without fever) without the use of fever lowering medications for 24 hours. For staff deemed “essential” for service (*“essential” is to be determined by the manager, considering service area needs), managers should consult with occupational health services to perform a risk assessment, taking into account the type of work, exposure to high risk clients, and the relevant travel exposure to determine if an exemption can be made. A fax summarizing this information should then be sent to Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health (OESH) at (204) 947-9970.

The return to the workplace of any staff member who has travelled outside Manitoba within the last 14 days is not permitted without the approval of Occupational Health Services or designate following a detailed risk assessment.

Under exceptional circumstances, when the staff person has unique skills that cannot be provided by any other providers which may create a patient safety risk, the manager can request an ‘exception’ to self-isolation. “Exception” requests to return staff to the workplace are limited to work situations where no alternative other than the return of the staff member exists to ensure for necessary, specialized and/ or time-sensitive work. All other available staffing processes must be considered prior to an exception request being initiated.

If a manager believes that there is need for an “exception request”, the manager must receive approval from their Director. If the Director supports the request for an exception, the manager must complete the appropriate paperwork (exception request form) have the director sign the form and forward by fax/scan and email Occupational Health Services or designate.

The employee may not return to the workplace until Occupational Health Services has completed their detailed risk assessment and clears the staff member to return to work. Managers are reminded that all contact with staff returning from travel must be conducted via telephone or video-conference until Occupational Health Services has cleared the employee for work.

Should the employee be deemed “operationally required” AND approved to work following the staff health risk assessment AND is asymptomatic, staff may return to work but must avoid contact with high risk patients. The employee will be required to self-monitor for symptoms, including monitoring their temperature twice a day and to wear a procedure/surgical mask for the duration of their shift and self-monitoring period.

When masks are removed for breaks/eating staff should remain 6 feet from other people, follow social distancing guidelines and ensure hand hygiene is practiced. • Masks should be changed when they become soiled or wet. When changing masks staff should remain 6 feet from other people follow social distancing guidelines and ensure hand hygiene is practiced. . March 25 2020 COVID-19 Guidelines for Screening of Manitoba Health Care Workers (Physicians and Staff) 3

Infection Prevention & Control direction related to masks includes avoiding touching the face during patient care and ensuring nose, mouth, and chin are covered when wearing. Change masks if they become wet or soiled (from the wearer’s breathing or due to an external splash), if breathing becomes difficult, or following interaction with a patient on Additional Precautions.

For full directions, refer to: https://sharedhealthmb.ca/files/routine-practices-protocol.pdf

Health care workers and physicians must immediately remove themselves from work if any symptoms develop, self-isolate and notify Occupational Health Services. When not at work, they should self-isolate at home for the full 14 day period.

Managers are reminded that all contact with staff returning from travel must be conducted via telephone or video-conference until those staff have been cleared for work by OESH.

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