COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates
1/26/2021 10 Facts About the COVID-19 Vaccination Prioritization for Corrections
12/17/2020 COVID-19 Screening Process Questionnaire
12/2/2020 COVID-19 FAQs for Detainees
3/31/2020 PPE and COVID Test Kit Vendors
As supplies are in high demand, ACH recieved permission to distribute the following contact information from vendors who reached out to us at a local level. If there is another vendor with which you are more comfortable or familiar, please feel free to utilize.
KN95 masks are in better supply than N95s. Please review the Comparison Chart
AdCo Source – please order via email – firstname.lastname@example.org
4/16/20 AdCo Source Face_Shield_Fast
4/16/20 AdCo Source US_Inventory_Mask
Anchor Promotions – (651) 385-7777 – Brenda@AnchorPromotions.com
Email Brenda for updated pricing information.
Command Sourcing – COVID TEST KITS AVAILABLE – (888) 733-4745 – www.commandsourcing.com
Staples – (978) 884-9313 – James.Cosgrove@staples.com
3/24/2020 Suspected or Confirmed
3/24/2020 Prevention Practices
3/24/2020 Close Contact Process
5/7/2020 Coronavirus FAQs
Q: Should certain detainees be released early due to COVID-19?
A: While ACH recognizes that the decision to release an individual is ultimately the decision of the facility administration, we can provide some guidance directly from the CDC on how to recognize which individuals would be at higher risk for serious complications of a COVID-19 infection. These are including but not limited to:
People 65 years and older
People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including:
- People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
- People with serious heart conditions
- People who are immunocompromised due to cancer treatment, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiency, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, or prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
- People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
- People with diabetes
- People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
- People with liver disease
The full list of high risk individuals from the CDC can be accessed here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-at-higher-risk.html
Q: Is a low pulse oximetry (pulse ox) a symptom of COVID-19?
A: While it has not been added to the list of symptoms per the CDC, we are hearing reports of pulse ox readings as low as 50% in patients with COVID-19. We would recommend investigating further for other symptoms of COVID-19 if you have a patient with a low pulse ox reading. A normal reading is 94-100%.
Q: Is there a timeframe for how long correctional facilities should screen for Coronavirus?
A: At this time we advise screening for Coronavirus until the CDC level of alert indicates that precautions can decrease.
Q: How will the diagnosis be confirmed if someone screens positive?
A: If there is a suspected case based on travel history and symptoms, you should contact the local health department promptly for guidance and instructions on how to care for the patient, as well as any further testing needs.
4/21/2020 FDA Emergency Use Authorizations
The FDA has granted Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for the list of products in the link below. Vendors may be contacting you promoting items that are not on this list. Items not on the list are not recommended for use. Please contact your local ACH Regional Nurse Manager for any inquiries or questions related to ordering. Thank you!
4/9/2020 Respirator Reuse Recommendations
Due to PPE supplies (particularly N95 masks) being low, the CDC has published recommendations on how to reuse respirators if your facility is faced with a supply shortage.
Respirator Reuse Recommendations
There is no way of determining the maximum possible number of safe reuses for an N95 respirator. Safe N95 reuse is affected by a number of variables that impact respirator function and contamination over time. The recommendations below are designed to provide practical advice so that N95 respirators are discarded before they become a significant risk for contact transmission or their functionality is reduced.
- Hang used respirators in a designated storage area or keep them in a clean, breathable container such as a paper bag in between uses. To minimize potential cross-contamination, store respirators so that they do not touch one another. Storage containers should be disposed of or cleaned regularly.
- Label containers used for storing respirators or label the respirator itself between uses with the user’s name to reduce accidental usage of another person’s respirator.
- Clean hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after touching or adjusting the respirator (if necessary for comfort or to maintain fit).
- Avoid touching the inside of the respirator. If inadvertent contact is made with the inside of the respirator, discard the respirator and perform proper hand hygiene as described above.
- Use a pair of clean (non-sterile) gloves when donning a used N95 respirator and performing a user seal check. Discard gloves after the N95 respirator is on and any adjustments are made to ensure the respirator is sitting comfortably on your face with a good seal.
There are situations where, regardless of how long a mask has been used, it must be discarded:
- Discard N95 respirators following use during aerosol generating procedures.
- Discard N95 respirators contaminated with blood, respiratory or nasal secretions, or other bodily fluids from patients.
- Discard N95 respirators following close contact with any patient with an infectious disease requiring contact precautions.
The full recommendations can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/hcwcontrols/recommendedguidanceextuse.html
3/31/2020 Price Gouging & COVID-19
Most of the 50 states have adopted specific laws governing price gouging. A few states without price gouging laws, like Maryland and Minnesota, have issued executive orders allowing the state to combat price gouging during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Products that could be subject to price gouging laws include essential items, such as food, medicine, and cleaning supplies. Price gouging can mean an extraordinarily high price (increase of over 20%) or an extreme difference in price comparison with similar products. Manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers need to be mindful that they are not increasing prices above and beyond what they were charging before the crisis unless that price increase is justified by the increasing cost of production.
Do you think you’re being gouged for essential items?
Report items to the company and the state Attorney General. Include:
- Vendor name and address
- Product details: type, brand, size, price
- Time, date, and location of product and price
- Photographic evidence, if possible
To find and contact your state’s attorney office, use the following link: https://www.usa.gov/state-attorney-general
3/24/2020 COVID-19 Update: CDC Correctional Facility Information
As a leading medical service provider in correctional health care, ACH is excited to share with you the recent information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) specific to correctional facilities.
This new CDC information is intended for use in all correctional environments and includes the understanding that all environments are NOT created equal. We have developed focused resources that will be beneficial for your review in the jail setting. They are included in the COVID-19 Documents on this webpage.
For full details on the most recent CDC information for correctional facilities, visit Guidance on Management of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Correctional and Detention Facilities: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/correction-detention/guidance-correctional-detention.html
As always, refer to your local health department for the most up to date information in your area.
3/20/2020 A Message from ACH: Shelter In Place Orders
Shelter in Place Orders
States are starting to issue shelter in place directives that may cause confusion.
Advanced Correctional Healthcare, Inc. (ACH) operates 24/7/365 to provide health care services to county jails. ACH fulfills a critical health care need to correctional facilities across 15 states, and is an essential business. ACH may continue to operate under state of emergency and shelter in place orders recently issued in the United States.
If you have additional questions, please reach out to Human Resources at (309) 692-8100.
3/19/2020 COVID-19: CDC Recommendations for Quarantine
As a medical services provider, ACH continues to rely on the CDC and state and local health departments as our source of truth for COVID-19 guidance. At this time, we feel it is important to highlight the recommendations for quarantine.
The Average American is at Low Risk for Serious Complications
During a White House Briefing on 3/18/2020, Vice President Mike Pence, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, and CMS Administrator Seema Verma all reviewed the guidance given in relation to self-quarantine and the reason behind the precaution. The average American still remains at low risk for any serious complications from COVID-19. The recommendations for self-quarantine/isolation are given as a measure to do what we can to protect those who are vulnerable or at high risk for serious complications. The most vulnerable populations are the elderly and the immunocompromised.
Guidance Directly from the CDC
The public health actions recommended in the table below apply to people who have been determined to have at least some risk for COVID-19. People who are being managed as asymptomatic in a particular risk level who develop signs or symptoms compatible with COVID-19 should be moved immediately into the symptomatic category in the same risk level and be managed accordingly. The risk level does not change if symptoms develop.
|Exposure Risk Level||Management if Asymptomatic||Management if Symptomatic1|
No Identifiable Risk
EMS = emergency medical services; HCF = healthcare facility; PUI = Person Under Investigation for COVID-19
1For the purpose of this document: subjective or measured fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
Note: The public health management recommendations made above are primarily intended for jurisdictions not experiencing sustained community transmission. In jurisdictions not experiencing sustained community transmission, CDC recommends that post-exposure public health management for asymptomatic exposed individuals continue until 14 days after the last potential exposure; however, these decisions should be made based on the local situation, available resources, and competing priorities. These factors should also guide decisions about managing symptomatic exposed individuals.
International travelers and other potentially exposed individuals in jurisdictions experiencing sustained community transmission should follow local guidance.
For further information, see the full CDC recommendations at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/risk-assessment.html
3/17/2020 COVID-19 Partnerships
As the nation works together to decrease the risk of transmitting COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), there is no better response for correctional facilities than to educate yourself on local resources and form united partnerships.
Contact your local health department
As discussion of testing abilities comes to the forefront, your local health department will be aware of the availability of local testing. As of now, the federal government is recommending screening any symptomatic patients; please reference the screening process. Detainees or staff who screen positive should be isolated or denied entry into your facility. The health department should be able to inform you of local hospital plans for COVID-19 response and testing. It remains a reality that the supply of COVID-19 tests remains insufficient in most areas for testing all persons being booked into your facility.
Partner with road officers
The screening process should be shared with road officers in anticipation of the possible availability of “drive-through testing” in some communities. While the test results will not be immediate, patients could be isolated until results are available. Road officers will be a critical component of alerting jails to the possibility of COVID-19, thereby helping to reduce exposure and keep your facility free from COVID-19. If road officers are not able to participate in the screening process, consider having staff screen patients in the sally port.
Continue to screen all people entering your facility
All persons entering your facility, including staff and essential visitors, should be screened per the screening process.
Updated blogs via email will continue to be the main mechanism for education on evolving recommendations concerning COVID-19. In order to best assist in answering questions, please check the this website and then use the email above for remaining questions. Phone calls to corporate and field staff should be limited to acute or emergent situations. We have a team dedicated to answer your blog questions submitted at the email address listed.
3/17/2020 A Message from Human Resources: Travel & Pay
We endeavor to keep the lines of communication open with our employees and clients including during the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic.
My job involves traveling, but not filling shifts. Can I still work?
Stop all non-essential travel and work from your remote office until approximately mid-April.
I work a travel job filling in shifts. Can I still work?
Yes, but you must call every client before going. We do not want you turned away at the door. If you get sick, stop traveling. If you cannot fill your hours as a result, call your supervisor.
How are meal stipends affected by restaurants closing?
Through March 2020, grocery stores may be used to purchase food for traveling employees who currently have a meal stipend. The daily stipend amount will NOT be increased.
I am sick. How will I be paid?
- Use your sick time
- Use your paid time off
- Use time off without compensation
I am caregiving. How will I be paid?
- Use your caregiver time (a max amount accrues in your sick time bank)
- Use your paid time off
- Use time off without compensation
I am in quarantine but NOT sick. How will I be paid?
- Use your paid time off
- Use time off without compensation
Our organization has over 500 employees. At the current time, President Trump has not received Senate/House approval for payroll tax relief or paid sick time for the COVID-19 illness for an organization of our size. If this changes, we will communicate that information. If you need financial assistance during this time, please contact Human Resources and your supervisor.
Has anyone in our company contracted COVID-19?
We are unable to disclose victims of exposure. If you are notified that there is a workplace/facility outbreak do not spread gossip; including names and identifying information. This is an Americans with Disabilities Act violation. Human Resources is your resource for working through employee health issues and communicating with the workplace. Please do not attempt this on your own.
We support you. If a jail communicates an intent to lock you in if a case of COVID-19 is identified, please notify your supervisor and/or Human Resources. If a jail has a policy in place that would lock staff in, we endeavor to work with the facility to approve medical staff’s ability to leave or choice to work without fear of retaliation.
ACH offers a FREE program (CIERR) through our mental health services team to assist staff in working through crisis situations such as this. To be contacted through our peer-to-peer program for help, please reach out to your supervisor or Human Resources.
Situations are constantly changing. Contact Human Resources at (309) 692-8100 or contact your supervisor as questions arise, and we will work with you to follow practices consistent with CDC guidelines.
3/12/2020 CANCELLATION: ACH Spring Medical Advisory Meetings
Attendees of Spring Medical Advisory:
We continue to monitor the COVID-19 / Coronavirus situation.
For the health and safety of everyone, the March 2020 Medical Advisory Meetings in Peoria, Illinois have been CANCELLED.
We understand this impacts your schedules and may cause you to have additional questions. We are available at (309) 692-8100 to discuss any specific concerns.
As a reminder: stay home if you are sick. If you are concerned you may be infected with COVID-19, notify Human Resources immediately at (309) 692-8100, and go to your local health department to be tested.
3/12/2020 COVID-19 Pandemic Recommendations
As the threat level from COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) increases in the United States to a pandemic level (per the World Health Organization on 3/11/20), many issues can be lost in the overwhelming amount of reporting. Further, recommendations can appear to conflict with one another or be unclear.
It is important NOT TO PANIC. The following are firm recommendations after re-assessing the risk of COVID-19 to correctional facilities.
Use the COVID-19 Screening Process
If any person is entering the correctional facility, use the screening process regarding:
- Respiratory symptoms
- Quarantine recommendations
This screening process applies to all persons entering the jail – including staff and inmates.
Limit Non-essential Visitation and Group Programming
The novel coronavirus is transmitted easily via droplets on surfaces and in the air. Limiting outside visitors into the facility, whether for programming or otherwise, is recommended. The more people entering the facility, the higher the risk of transmission. An example would be having church services in the facility postponed, or conducted via teleconference.
Partner with your Health Department
Your health department is the authority for public health responses in your community, including information on the availability of testing kits and PPE.
3/11/2020 A Message from Human Resources: FAQs
We are becoming increasingly aware of the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) across communities, affecting both individuals and businesses. While we endeavor to keep the Central Illinois office open, we are aware that many staff members travel, enter multiple locations and areas that may or may not have an outbreak, and interact with many individuals potentially affected by COVID-19.
If you are sick, stay home.
As a manager, do not pressure staff members to come in to work when they are sick. We encourage the use of the Sick Time Policy. If the individual does not have sick time, PTO will be utilized as is standard practice. In lieu of both, managers should work with Human Resources to discuss possibilities of time with or without compensation.
As an employee, stay home when you are sick. If you are concerned you may be infected with COVID-19, notify Human Resources immediately at (309) 692-8100, and go to your local health department to be tested.
Staffing assistance is available.
Employees staying home when they are sick should NOT cause an increased number of staffing openings. This should not deplete an entire site. If you are having trouble staffing due to an area outbreak (ex. if a school is closed and childcare is unable to be found for staff members) contact the Director of Medical Operations and/or Human Resources for assistance.
Review upcoming appointments.
Review your upcoming appointments as they relate to locations with outbreak concerns. Consider calling clients to see if they would prefer your visit be conducted via webcam, phone, or rescheduled.
In the corporate office, review your upcoming appointments and/or meetings which require individuals to come into the office. Until April, have all visitors traveling to the office approved through Human Resources.
Should I use vacation time?
Employees who are taking pre-planned vacations or engage in non-essential travel against the CDC’s recommendations (i.e. taking cruises) will be handled with the supervisor and Human Resources department. Our patients are incarcerated and unable to avoid crowds, and employee travel may result in a spread of the virus within a facility.
Employees who travel against CDC advice may also be required to use their accrued Paid Time Off or time off without compensation (not sick time) to self-quarantine up to 14 days upon returning from their trip if they are no experiencing symptoms but clients are concerned about safety and security. This will be determined on a site by site, case by case basis. Employees should be aware of any self-quarantine expectation for their facility/location PRIOR to going on vacation.
I am sick AND I have had contact with someone who recently traveled from an area with COVID-19.
If you are concerned you may be infected with COVID-19, notify Human Resources immediately at (309) 692-8100 and go to your local health department to be tested.
I have COVID-19.
COVID-19 is spreading person to person. If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, we support the CDC’s quarantine guidelines and expectations. The quarantine period is 14 days from the point of exposure. To return to work following a self-quarantine due to illness, we expect employees to be fever free without using fever-reducing medications, no longer showing symptoms (including a cough), and testing negative on at least 2 consecutive respiratory specimens collected a minimum of 24 hours apart.
Per the CDC, during quarantine avoid contact with your pets, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food.
Wash your hands. Avoid touching your face. Face masks are unnecessary and may only be a benefit to infected individuals attempting to avoid spreading the virus. It has been commented by the CDC that those who are wearing face masks (and do not have COVID-19) have been visually seen touching their face more often than those who do not wear masks (i.e. repositioning the mask), which increases infection risk due to touching their face.
If you are at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19 (i.e. you are older or have a serious chronic medical condition such as heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease), stock up on supplies, stay away from people who are sick in public, and avoid crowds, cruises, and non-essential travel.
If you know of employees (or employee’s family members) who test positive for COVID-19, fight the stigma and do not maliciously gossip. Learn the facts about the virus, ask questions, and stop the rumor mill.
While a lot is still unknown, there are no active concerns about viruses living on packages shipped from China. This is due to a believed poor survivability of coronaviruses on surfaces.
We endeavor to assist employees with time off that is needed due to this outbreak. At the current time, President Trump has not received Senate/House approval for payroll tax relief or paid sick time for the COVID-19 illness. If this changes, we will communicate that information.
3/4/2020 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
Prevent the introduction of respiratory germs INTO your facility.
- Post signs at the entrance instructing visitors not to visit if they have symptoms of respiratory infection
- Check your sick leave policy for specifics on staying home if you have symptoms of respiratory infection
- Assess detainees’ symptoms of respiratory infection upon admission to the facility. See the UPDATED screening questionnaire attached
Prevent the spread of respiratory germs WITHIN your facility.
- Keep detainees and staff informed
- Monitor detainees and staff for fever or respiratory symptoms
- Restrict patients with fever or acute respiratory symptoms to their room. If they must leave the room for medically necessary procedures, have them wear a facemask (if tolerated).
- In general, for care of patients with undiagnosed respiratory infection use Standard, Contact, and Droplet Precautions with eye protection unless suspected diagnosis requires Airborne Precautions (e.g., tuberculosis).
- Health care staff should monitor their local and state public health sources to understand COVID-19 activity in their community to help inform their evaluation of individuals with unknown respiratory illness. If there is transmission of COVID-19 in the community, in addition to implementing the precautions described above for patients with acute respiratory infection, facilities should also consult with public health authorities for additional guidance.
- Support hand and respiratory hygiene, as well as cough etiquette
- Ensure staff clean their hands according to CDC guidelines, including before and after contact with detainees, after contact with contaminated surfaces or equipment, and after removing personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Make sure tissues are available and any sink is well-stocked with soap and paper towels for hand washing.
- Provide the right supplies to ensure easy and correct use of PPE
- Post signs on the door or wall outside of the patient room that clearly describe the type of precautions needed and required PPE.
- Make PPE, including facemasks, eye protection, gowns, and gloves, immediately available.
- Position a trash can near the exit of any patient room to make it easy for staff to discard PPE.
Prevent the spread of respiratory germs BETWEEN facilities.
- Notify facilities prior to transferring a detainee with an acute respiratory illness, including suspected or confirmed COVID-19, to a higher level of care
- Report any possible COVID-19 illness in detainees and staff to the local health department, including your state HAI/AR coordinator
The first US case of Coronavirus has been confirmed by the CDC.
Begin screening for Coronavirus today
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a Level 2 Alert for a new strain of the coronavirus stemming from Wuhan, China. This disease is a pneumonia-like virus. A Level 2 Alert means to increase precautions to prevent the spread of disease. This may mean ordering more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplies than your standard order due to increase in use.
Positive Screen = Patient Quarantine
Screen all new detainees using the Coronavirus Screening Questionnaire in addition to the usual medical screening.
- Move patient to a separate room/area immediately, preferably a TB (negative pressure) room if available
- Ask the patient to wear a surgical mask as soon as they are identified
- Wear gloves, gown, mask, and goggles when interacting with the patient
- Instruct the patient to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or their sleeve when coughing or sneezing – do not cover with hands
- Use the appropriate chain of command to notify medical personnel. They will help you partner with the local health department
- Wash hands before and after patient contact. If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
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All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only. The information presented should be treated as guidelines, not rules. The information presented is not intended to establish a standard of medical care and is not a substitute for common sense. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, may not be current, and is subject to change without notice. Each situation should be addressed on a case-by-case basis.