March 13, 2020
COVID-19: EveryStep's Preparation, Prevention & Practices
EveryStep’s top priority is the safety and health of its employees, volunteers and the people in our care.
EveryStep stands beside the people we serve, and we are taking steps to ensure our programs continue to offer care and support to our patients, clients and their families throughout the COVID-19 situation.
Currently, our programs and services are operating as normal, with precautions in place. Additional precautions or measures may be adopted as needed and as medically appropriate.
A team of individuals at EveryStep is actively monitoring the COVID-19 situation daily, making sure our workforce is informed, healthy and prepared to respond.
EveryStep operates an established Emergency Preparedness Plan (EPP) that covers prevention and response to a pandemic situation.
The organization relies on credible sources for guidance: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), and the Polk County Health Department. EveryStep has ready access to obtaining updates on any new developments that involve the spread of COVID-19.
In the event that IDPH determines that any of EveryStep's service areas under threat for community spread of COVID-19, the organization will activate its Emergency Preparedness Plan.
Prevention & Practices
EveryStep urges sick employees to stay at home. Staff and volunteers are also urged to follow prevention measures. EveryStep employees and volunteers are also urged to practice respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene. EveryStep also asks that all visitors to its hospice houses wash or sanitize their hands prior to entering a patient’s room. In addition, EveryStep is honoring the practices and protocols put in place by its community healthcare partners.
IDPH recommends the following to help prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses:
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home if sick.
- Cover mouth with upper arm or tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Hospice and Home Care for COVID-19 Patients
While no known or suspected COVID-19 positive patients are currently being served by EveryStep, the organization is prepared to care for these patients if they are presented.
In the event that a current patient or prospective in-home hospice or home care patient has shown symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19, EveryStep staff will admit and continue to provide care for these persons.
EveryStep may admit new patients on a case-by-case basis with known or suspected exposure to COVID-19 to our hospice homes: Kavanagh House on 56th Street in Des Moines and Greater Regional Hospice Home in Creston. Measures will be taken to care for these individuals in their home or within other care settings if possible for isolation.
EveryStep is dedicated to providing compassionate care to our patients, clients and employees. With the current fluid nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, we understand that things will change quickly and often. We are prepared to address your concerns and questions. Please do not hesitate to contact EveryStep by email.