Healthcare workers place themselves at risk each day to provide care for the thousands of individuals with COVID-19. The country depends on these people to save the lives of family members and friends, yet they themselves fulfill important roles outside of their positions providing critical care to patients. Therefore, they deserve efforts to reduce the danger they face daily. Measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus in healthcare facilities is critically important, while also proving a significant challenge.
COVID-19: Protecting Frontline Workers
The transmission of COVID-19 is not yet entirely understood, though it has become increasingly clear that the virus is spread through surface contamination and through droplets and aerosols. Further complicating the matter is the fact that people can be contagious while being asymptomatic themselves.
Hospitals in large urban areas pose the most immediate safety risks, as they have become overcrowded and undersupplied. However, the hazards are spreading to less populated regions of the country, as well, where healthcare institutions are fundamentally ill-prepared for the threats they will face as coronavirus cases increase.
While some frontline workers are already in the thick of the crisis, others are only beginning to see its impacts or are waiting for what has yet to arrive on their doorsteps. Regardless of where a locale and facility are in the pandemic’s trajectory, there are steps aimed at coronavirus spread prevention that can be taken now.
While widespread testing of frontline workers is the most effective measure that can be taken, the reality is that the current lack of testing kits makes this impossible. Until reliable kits are available, healthcare workers must be vigilant in monitoring themselves for symptoms. For those who are at risk for severe infections, it is important to speak with administrators to determine the best course of action to ensure the safety of the professional.
Every frontline worker needs to be protected with personal protective equipment, or PPE, including an N-95 respirator and face shield, gloves, and gown. Consistent and thorough surface disinfection is critical to coronavirus spread prevention, as is diligence in hand-hygiene practices. Emergency departments need to establish protocols for patient intake and professional practices, as these departments are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus exposure.
It is important for leadership to establish, communicate, and enforce guidelines for preventative and precautionary measures. Furthermore, administrators should discuss with staff how to protect their family members when they go home from work at the end of the day. Healthcare facilities offering workers’ compensation for their employees need to understand benefit coverages and ensure their frontline workers do as well.
About Bozzuto & Company Insurance Services, Inc.
Bozzuto & Company Insurance Services has provided business and personal insurance solutions to clients throughout California since its founding in 1981. Our experienced staff understands the unique needs that each person has when insuring their lives and their businesses, and we pride ourselves on our deeply personal customer service. We are happy to help you through every step of the insurance selection process. Contact us today at (800) 400-6394 to learn more about what we can do for you.