COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation and following related developments within South Africa, the government declared a national state of disaster relating to the virus in terms of the Disaster Management Act, 2002. The Organisation has an obligation in accordance with Section 8, of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), 1993, as amended to, where reasonably practicable, provide and maintain a safe, healthy work environment that would minimise the risk to employees. A comprehensive risk assessment has been carried out and procedures and protocols have been put in place to mitigate COVID-19 risks at the workplace to as low as reasonably practicable.
- Disaster Management Act of 2002, including all Directions published
- National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) communiques
- Department of Health guidelines
- National Institute of Occupational Health
IMPORTANT CONTACT NUMBERS
CORONA VIRUS(COVID-19) 24-HOUR HOTLINE NUMBER: 0800 029 999
IMPLEMENTATION, TRAINING AND MONITORING
Implementation, training and monitoring of the procedures outlined in this SOP shall be the responsibility of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act – Section 16.2 appointment in collaboration with the Occupational Health Nurse and the assistance of the OHS Act Section 17 (Health and Safety Representatives) appointments.
The appointed Occupational Health and Safety Representative will be responsible for training workers who need to use protective clothing and equipment on how to put it on, use/wear it and take it off correctly.
This shall include regular spot checks and audits to ensure full compliance.
Any deviation from established procedures in this document shall be brought to the attention of Department- or Line Manager for corrective action.
WHAT IS COVID-19
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory infections. These can range from the common cold to more serious diseases. COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new form of coronavirus. It was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan City in China.
Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild illness to pneumonia. Some people will recover easily, and others may get very sick very quickly. Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:
· flu-like symptoms, such as coughing or sneezing
· difficulty breathing, which may develop into pneumonia
· sore throat
IMPORTANT: If a staff member, patient or contractor display any of the above symptoms, HR should immediately be notified
If you are concerned you may have COVID-19 or display any of the above symptoms:
In general, you need to first contact your healthcare provider. This may be your GP or your local clinic/ hospital. You should phone ahead to your healthcare provider, if possible, and find out what the exact process is for you to be tested.
If you do not need emergency medical care, you should not visit a hospital emergency unit for testing. Some hospitals or GPs may refer you to an off-site testing facility.
Communicate your test result to your manager.
If the COVID-19 test result is positive, NICD and/or healthcare practitioner protocols will be followed for testing of other staff members.
HOW COVID-19 SPREADS
The virus can spread from person to person through:
close contact with an infectious person (including in the 24 hours before they had symptoms).
contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze.
touching objects or surfaces (like doorknobs or tables) that have droplets from an infected person, and then touching your mouth or face.
COVID-19 is a new disease, so there is no existing immunity or cure. This means that COVID-19 spreads widely and quickly.
PROTECT YOURSELF AND PREVENT SPREADING OF THE VIRUS
Everyone must do the following things to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect those who are most at risk on and of site, The GOLDEN RULES are:
wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, including when you enter the facility, before and after eating, after going to the toilet and after removing PPE
cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue
put used tissues straight into the bin
use alcohol-based hand sanitisers which is provided throughout the facility
avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces such as benchtops, desks and doorknobs
clean and disinfect frequently used objects such as mobile phones, keys, wallets, access permits and shared tools
keep 1.5 - 2 metres away from others (social distancing)
stop shaking hands to greet others
consider cancelling non-essential meetings. If needed, hold meetings via video conferencing or phone call
where possible, eat lunch at your desk or outside rather than in the lunchroom
open windows or adjust air conditioning for more ventilation
limit food handling and sharing of food in the workplace
avoid non-essential travel
stay home when you are feeling sick
Various COVID-19 safety posters are displayed throughout the Clinic, please take time to read them and follow the instructions provided.
The following COVID-19 safety resources are available:
- Handwash Facilities
- Hand Sanitiser
- Infrared Thermometers
- Surface Sanitizer
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)
PPE to be Used
- Face Masks
- Face Shields
Arrangements /enquiries for admission as per normal will be made in advance. No walk ins will be admitted.
All requests for admissions are expected to have been tested negative for COVID- 19 .
Should a patient not be in a position to go for a test prior admission arrangements for testing will be made by Elim Clinic.
All new admissions will be isolated in the female section whilst simultaneously being detoxed. A nurse will be allocated to only take responsibility for the patients in isolation.
After three days they will be assessed by the medical team and pending on the outcome of the assessment they will be moved into the Clinic.