We’re putting safety first.
Hiawatha HomeCare's Response to COVID-19
As the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect communities across the globe, Hiawatha HomeCare's commitment to our patients hasn't wavered. Our experienced and compassionate nurses continue to provide the in-home care that our patients need more than ever. Meanwhile, we're taking every precaution to keep everybody--including patients, nurses, and staff--as safe and healthy as possible.
Here's Exactly What We're Doing
Client and employee safety has always been a top priority at Hiawatha HomeCare. In light of COVID-19 concerns, we've taken additional steps to reduce transmission risk, beginning with the closure of our Red Wing office to visitors. For now, we are operating by-appointment-only; we're carefully screening all visitors and taking their temperatures before they enter the building. Furthermore, all in-person staff meetings have also been rescheduled in a no-contact, virtual format.
Virtual staff meetings
As always, we're encouraging sick employees to stay home, and we have procedures in place to immediately quarantine any employees who are potentially exposed to the virus.
For additional protection, each of our nurses has received two hand-sewn masks with HEPA filters; these masks are washable, so nurses can always have access to a clean mask while the other is being sanitized. This--combined with ongoing communication on infection control and the display of posters promoting respiratory hygiene--helps our team at Hiawatha HomeCare maintain a clean and safe work environment at the office, inside patients' homes, and everywhere in between.
As COVID-19 has continued its spread, our medical director has been in constant communication with staff to keep them up-to-date on the latest information. Our social media team has also been hard at work posting COVID-related updates to keep our followers informed and educated.
Here's What Else You Should Know
We understand there is a great deal of uncertainty and concern surrounding COVID-19 and its impact on our everyday lives. However, we want to reassure our clients and their families that we're taking every precaution necessary to keep you and your loved ones safe. Home care providers that have adequately prepared for and responded to this pandemic can and will continue to provide the quality care patients need.
Hopefully, you will not find yourself in a situation where you're caring for a loved one who has contracted COVID-19. If you are, however, we strongly recommend reviewing the CDC's online guidelines for helping to care for a patient at home; this includes information on knowing when to seek emergency medical care and how to reduce your own chances of catching the virus. And of course, our dedicated nurses will be there to help every step of the way.
For more information about COVID-19 awareness and protection--especially in the workplace--we recommend reviewing these downloadable PDFs from the CDC. These may be especially useful for those working essential jobs who want to improve education and awareness in the workplace. Both the Minnesota and Wisconsin Department of Health websites provide additional resources on the pandemic in real-time.
A Note About Protective Masks
We've hand-sewn cloth masks for our nurses and staff to wear.
We support the Minnesota Department of Health's recommendations for protective masks, including surgical and N95 masks. Due to their limited supply, we agree that these masks should be conserved for medical professionals and facilities that are dealing first-hand with COVID-19 patients on a regular basis. In order to do our part in conserving these already-limited resources, we've hand-sewn and distributed our own cloth masks for our nurses and staff to wear.
We're All in This Together
COVID-19 has disrupted our way of living and interacting with one another--and the best thing most of us can do right now is to practice social distancing by staying home. For essential workers who are serving on the front lines every day (including our nurses), we want to extend an emphatic "thank you" from the bottom of our hearts. Our ongoing commitment to you is to keep you safe, well, and supported.