Extra precautions before and after the workday and while at home will help HCPs limit risk to family of potential exposure to COVID-19. Guidance here from the AAFP.
Healthcare professionals who continue to work every day, no matter the setting, risk exposure to patients infected with COVID-19. The hope is that they have ready access to appropriate personal protection equipment while on the job.All providers, stresses the American Academy of Family Physicians, also need to take extra precautions both before they arrive and after they leave the workplace to limit risk to family and other household members.Click through the AAFP guidance in the slides below, excerpted from the March 25, 2020 COVID-19 Daily Updates for Members on the Academy website.
How to Protect the Health of Your Home and Family: Guidance for Practitioners from the American Academy of Family Physicians
Priority: Monitor your own health. Per the CDC: check your temperature twice a day and remain alert for respiratory symptoms (eg, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat). If you develop symptoms contact your local or state health department and, if employed, your employer.
Prepare before going to work. Consider wearing scrubs every day; always have a clean set ready to wear. If you wear a white coat wash it every day. Prepare clean clothes and shoes to change into after work. Take them with you if you can change at work.
More preparation before going to work. Remove nonessential items in your car and stock it with disinfecting wipes to make it easy to wipe down after traveling home. If taking mass transit, have hand sanitizer available. Touch as little as possible, use hand sanitizer after touching any surfaces.
Before you leave work for the day:If possible, shower and change into clean clothes and shoes. Put dirty clothes and shoes into a bag dedicated for soiled clothing. Consider using a cloth bag you can wash along with your dirty clothes each day.
When you get home. Do not wear shoes from work into your home. Clean them, top and bottom with disinfecting wipes.
If not able to change clothes before leaving work, change in an isolated location (ie, garage, laundry room, mudroom). Wash hands after handling dirty clothes and shoes. Shower before interacting with your family.
At home, you may choose to isolate to limit family exposure: Identify a room & bathroom for your use only. Have a family member leave needed food, etc for you outside your isolation area so that you don’t have to move through shared space to meet your needs. Consider using disposable plates, cups, and utensils. If you are unable to use separate spaces from your family, attempt to maintain 6 ft from others and be sure to sleep alone.
At home, ensure your household is taking precautions to disinfect regularly. Per the CDC: clean and disinfect frequently- touched surfaces in your home daily.
At home, use disinfecting methods recommended by the CDC. If a member of your household is going to clean surfaces in the rooms you are using to isolate, they should wait to enter the room for 3.5 to 4 hours after you depart to allow the air to clear of potential contaminates and wear gloves for cleaning.