Updated April 03, 2020
VHA Home HealthCare (VHA) is closely monitoring the COVID-19 Coronavirus situation and is carefully following the guidance of Public Health Ontario to ensure all of our clients, families, staff and service providers are protected while we continue to provide necessary care.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK I HAVE COVID-19?
If you are concerned that you have COVID-19 or that you may have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19, please call Telehealth (1-866-797-0000), your local public health unit or your health care provider and inform them of your concerns.
If you are a client currently receiving care, please call VHA’s main line at 416-489-2500 and explain your situation – one of our call response agents will be happy to assist you.
INFECTION CONTROL MEASURES AT VHA HOME HEALTHCARE
VHA’s priority is keeping our clients, families, staff and service providers protected. VHA’s Infection Prevention and Control team is in close contact with Public Health Ontario and other agencies and we continue to follow all recommended infection control measures for home health care. These practices include screening clients for new symptoms, and following recommended protocols on hand hygiene, the proper use of personal protective equipment and the disinfection of equipment.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT FROM MY VHA CARE PROVIDER?
We have encouraged our staff and service providers to telephone clients prior to visits to screen for symptoms of COVID-19 to keep everyone safe. These symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Screening may also take place in person at the beginning of a visit. This screening ensures that any individuals at risk of having or spreading COVID-19 are identified immediately.
Clinical evidence indicates that COVID-19 is contact/droplet spread, which means it is spread through direct contact with someone who has symptoms. However, we recognize physical distancing may be difficult due to the nature of health care work and that the use of personal protective equipment may reduce anxiety for some clients and staff. Staff and service providers may choose to use VHA-issued masks when they are working closely with a client even if the client has no symptoms or a positive diagnosis of COVID-19. Please visit Public Health Ontario for further information on recommendations regarding the use of protective equipment.
VHA care providers are well-informed about appropriate infection prevention and control measures for home care. We value their expertise as health care professionals and their dedication to providing necessary care in the home, where most want to be. We thank our valued clients and families for their continued respect and support of their VHA caregivers.
If you wish to support the ongoing efforts of VHA’s dedicated care providers, we welcome donations to our Simple Comfort Funds, which is used to purchase products and services for clients who are in need of urgent assistance and have limited or no access to funding. Online donations can be made here.
Please visit Public Health Ontario for further information regarding COVID-19 and measures we can all take to protect ourselves. We appreciate the cooperation of all of our clients and families to help keep everyone safe.