11
September
2023
|
16:54 PM
America/Chicago

Tips to Keep Everyone Safe During the Upcoming Flu and RSV Season

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We want to share some suggestions to help keep you, and your patients, safe during flu, RSV and other upper respiratory infection seasons.

 For the Patient and their Families

  • Please try to get patients/family with possible COVID or other respiratory viral infection into an exam room as soon as possible.
  • The visitors of inpatients with COVID are to be strongly encouraged to wear a mask when out of the patient room and still on hospital property to protect other hospitalized and vulnerable children.
  • If a patient or their family show symptoms such as a fever or cold, talk to them about rescheduling a non-emergent procedure or appointment. If it is an emergency, ask the patient and family to please wear a mask while they are at Cook Children’s, to protect our fragile patients and our staff.

For the Caregiver

  • Consider wearing a mask when seeing patients, especially for children with low immune systems and medically fragile conditions. This will create a protective barrier between those with sneezing, cough and fever symptoms.
  • Remember that an N95 mask is required for all COVID positive patients. There is no change to the current N95 fit testing requirement.  If you are in a patient facing position, you must have a respirator fit test once every 12 months.
  • Please practice good hand hygiene and remember to wash your hands thoroughly:
    • Before touching a patient
    • Before clean/aseptic procedures
    • After body fluid exposure risk
    • After touching a patient
    • After touching patient surroundings.

 Wearing a mask is not mandatory, but if you are a staff member and want to wear one because it makes you feel safer or it's best for your health, please always wear one while you are at work.

  • If you are ill with symptoms of the flu, RSV, or COVID-19, please take PTO to recover.
  • If you have COVID-19, please isolate for at least 5 days and be fever free for 24 hours before returning to work (day 0 is the day symptoms started or when you tested positive). Please continue to wear a mask when you return to work through day 10.
  • If you have moderate or severe COVID-19, please isolate at home through at least day 10. If symptoms continue, those with severe COVID-19 may need to stay isolated for up to 20 days.
    •  If you are off work for 5 or more days, you will need to contact Hartford at 877-936-5336 for FMLA/LOA. Upon release by your physician and prior to returning to work, please return to Occupational Health with your physician note and completed return to work form. You may contact occupational health by email at OCCHEALTH@COOKCHILDRENS.ORG or call 682-885-3837 and press option 1.