Subject: GUIDELINES FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE (New England State)
Infectious Disease Guidelines Update
Hello all! We wanted to check in with everyone to inform them that FSRI is monitoring the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Health websites daily for updates and advice regarding maintaining our services, while protecting the health and safety of staff.
Today, the of Health issued the following information:
- To date, no one has become infected with Ebola within the state. Since August 2014, Department of Health (HEALTH) Division of Infectious Disease & Epidemiology has investigated a number of healthcare providers’ reports of possible Ebola cases, and through consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), screening, and testing, HEALTH has ruled out all patients as cases.
- Only people who have been in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone in the past three weeks are at risk of developing Ebola. Even if someone has relatives in Guinea, Liberia, or Sierra Leone, they are NOT at risk for developing Ebola if they have not traveled to one of these countries in the past three weeks.
- The Ebola outbreaks in Senegal and Nigeria are now considered over.
- There is specific guidance available for people coming here from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone about monitoring their temperatures.
- People are not contagious until they show symptoms.
- You CAN'T get Ebola through:
- Casual contact with someone who has no symptoms of the disease
- Food in the U.S.
- The Ebola outbreak is an evolving process. Healthcare workers, the CDC, and others are learning how best to respond. We are expanding our response to meet the needs. There will be changes and adjustments as we go.
We want you all to know that while we take this seriously, we encourage a protocol centered on information and common sense. Please follow the below:
- Utilize universal precautions
- Don’t touch or handle bodily fluids (those staff who work in settings where this may be necessary, utilize universal precautions for the cleaning of bodily fluids)
- If a client is very ill, please reschedule appointments, and attempt to make accommodations so that the client may continue to receive necessary services
- Review all concerns with your supervisors, and communicate with your supervisors regarding your efforts to continue to meet the needs of your clients, and any need for cancelling and rescheduling appointments
- As Ebola is transmitted through bodily fluids only, we are recommending all staff review the Blood Borne Pathogen training available through Reliasgu, and that supervisors allow staff time to set aside to review this training.