Safe Care Commitment
Home Visit Guidelines for Patients During Coronavirus (COVID-19)
If you are receiving care from any MGB home care clinician (such as a visiting nurse, provider, or physical therapist), please know that these visiting clinicians have been trained to follow infection control guidelines.
In compliance with public health guidance that individuals be masked when 6 foot distance cannot be maintained, all home care providers will wear a surgical mask during your visit. They may substitute the surgical mask for an N95 respirator depending on the specific aspects of your care. Patients will be provided a surgical mask to wear; others in the home will be expected to wear a facemask (home-made or cloth is acceptable) if they will be within 6 feet of the patient or the home care clinician.
We encourage you to continue to allow these clinicians to support you.
What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus disease 2019, or "COVID-19," is an infection caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2.
How is COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 mainly spreads from person to person. This usually happens when a person coughs, sneezes, or talks near other people, generating respiratory droplets that can land on the eyes, nose, or mouth of a another person. It is also possible to get sick if you touch a surface that has the virus on it and then touch your mouth, nose, or eyes.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms usually start a few days after a person is infected with the virus. But in some people, it can take up to two weeks for symptoms to appear, when you start to feel sick. Symptoms can include:
- Fever or feeling feverish/warm
- New sore throat
- New cough
- New runny nose or nasal congestion
- New shortness of breath
- Muscle aches
- New loss of smell or taste
If you have new symptoms, please contact your health care team who may arrange for you to be tested for COVID-19. Some infected individuals do not experience symptoms.
How to prevent COVID-19:
- In advance of any visit, please ask anyone who might visit your home if they have had any of the symptoms above or if they may have been exposed to anyone with COVID-19 or any other viral respiratory illness in the last 14 days.
- If any visitors have symptoms, we strongly recommend asking them not to come to the house. If someone with symptoms does enter your house please have them put on a mask prior to entering your home.
- For any visitors, household members, or others supporting your health including caretakers, persons providing meals, medications, and other essential items. Please follow these precautions;
- Maintain a six foot distance from the home-care clinician
- Wear a mask if closer than six feet from the home-care clinician
- During any home visits from a health care professional, please limit visits from others at the same time; including family and other caregivers.
- Please wash your hands with soap and water or sanitizer often and avoid touching your face.
- If you have symptoms and there are other people in your home, you should wear a mask and stay in your own room and away from others in the home.
- The home team will call you before each visit to see if you or anyone in your home have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19.
- If possible, please make sure there is a trash bin outside of your front door or building that the home team can use to throw out face masks, gowns, and gloves.
- If you have new symptoms, the home team will be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) including in gowns, gloves, eye protection, and an N95 respirator. This is for your and the home team’s safety.
- If you do not have symptoms and have no known exposures to COVID-19, your home team will be wearing a surgical mask. They may add additional PPE depending on the type of care delivered as part of Standard Precautions.
- When the home team leaves your residence, they will dispose of any gowns and gloves in your outside trash in a separate bag. This has been deemed safe by infectious disease experts and poses no risk to you or your family.
If you have any questions or concerns, please call your Primary Care Provider, or the MGB COVID-19 Hotline (617) 724-7000