COVID-19 IMPACT & TRENDS

Infection Count
Total Cases in the US - 14,967,618
Total Deaths in the US – 284,116
 
Total Cases in North Carolina- 399,362
Total Deaths in North Carolina - 5,560
Total Recovered in North Carolina – 341,041
 
Total Cases in South Carolina- 234,652
Total Deaths in South Carolina- 4,576
Total Recovered in South Carolina – 120,652
(Source: Johns Hopkins – Note that due to complex data collection, COVID-19 numbers may vary slightly on each reporting site)
  
Across North and South Carolina we are seeing a steady increase in the impact of COVID-19!
  • On November 1- 1,140 patients were hospitalized across North Carolina
  • On November 29- 1,966 patients were hospitalized across North Carolina
  • The daily percent positive testing rate in North Carolina has reached 9.5% (up from a 6.5% positivity rate on November 1)
  • As of this week, hospital capacity in North Carolina is at 70% while ICU capacity in the state is at 79%
  • South Carolina is seeing slightly lower increases in case numbers, though South Carolina data is not as readily available
OFFICE ACCESS
For your safety and the safety of your colleagues, please follow the procedures below when visiting any Well Care location. 
  • *IMPORTANT* Well Care administrative team members will remain remote until further notice. The only exception to this is team members who have been given permission by their supervisor to enter the office for a specific job-related task such as orientation, running payroll, supply pick-up, etc. If you have received permission from your supervisor to enter a Well Care office, please notify our front desk team ahead of your visit. All Well Care offices will continue to be closed to the public and locked - with key fob access disabled.
  • If you arrive at a Well Care office without permission or a pre-arranged appointment and/or don’t follow safety procedures, you may be denied entry.
  • If an emergency need or pre-arranged supply pick up requires you to enter the office, you must wear a cloth mask. This includes when you are entering and exiting the office, in an elevator, etc.
  • If for some reason, you have to use a meeting room or other community space (i.e., breakroom), and another employee is using that space with you, you must both wear a mask, and you must also practice social distancing (6 ft).
  • If you are feeling ill or exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms, don’t enter the office for any reason.
  • Use the provided hand sanitizer when entering and exiting an office, after touching common surfaces, and if you cough or sneeze. 
  • Minimize your time inside the office. Complete the task that caused you to come in and then leave the office as soon as possible. Do not linger or socialize with others.
 
SAFETY GUIDELINES
Any scenario in which many people gather together poses a risk for COVID-19 transmission. While the holidays are a time when families and others traditionally gather, you should be careful, particularly if gatherings include individuals at higher risk for severe illness (e.g., people over the age of 65 or who have underlying health conditions), and if there is an increasing or a high number of cases in your community. If you have been recently diagnosed with COVID-19, have symptoms of COVID-19, or have been around a person with COVID-19, then do not host or participate in any in-person gatherings until you complete your isolation or quarantine period.
 
CDC Quarantine Update
CDC now recommends two additional options for how long quarantine should last. Based on the local availability of viral testing, for people without symptoms, quarantine can end:
  • On day 10 without testing
  • On day 7 after receiving a negative test result
However, it is very important to note that local public health authorities make the final decisions about how long quarantine should last in the communities they serve, based on local conditions and needs. Well Care will follow the local public health department's recommendations regarding quarantine; if the health department in your area doesn't have specific recommendations, the CDC recommendations will be used (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html).
 
*IMPORTANT- If you are exposed to a COVID-19 positive patient while wearing the proper PPE, you do not need to quarantine. If you are unsure what the proper PPE is, please contact your Clinical Manager immediately.
 


PPE & SUPPLIES– KEY INFORMATION
 
CDC guidelines for PPE have not changed in the past month. If and when there is a change, we will notify you immediately. It remains our goal to exceed CDC guidelines whenever possible. If you are new to Well Care or have questions about PPE requirements, safety protocols, or the precautions each clinician should be practicing, contact your immediate supervisor or the Performance Improvement team at PI@wellcarehealth.com.
 
Infection Control Guidance for Healthcare Professionals about Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Information for Healthcare Professionals about Coronavirus (COVID-19)
 
Oversight of our PPE and supplies lives with our local clinical operations leadership. Clinical Managers, under the direction of their Director, will review and approve all local supply needs. The email medicalsupplies@wellcarehealth.com is still operational and can be a resource for you if you cannot locate an order or a specific supply item in HCHB. We have a large quantity of PPE supplies available, and Clinical Managers will continue to distribute gowns, masks, N95 respirators, and liquid hand sanitizer to their clinical staff. All clinical teams will continue with scheduled distribution days as they have in the previous months. 
 
PPE REMINDERS – These protocols are as important today (if not more so) than they were 9 months ago!
  • Clinicians and aides should be wearing a mask and eye protection for EVERY visit!
  • Clinicians and aides should pre-screen themselves every morning before seeing patients – taking special care to look for any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • The COVID-19 screening tool in HCHB should be used for every patient visit – if you have questions on this, please talk with your supervisor.
  • Any current or potential patient that meets the criteria for COVID-19 should be reported to the PI Department within two hours.
  • Clinicians and aides should avoid seeing patients if they (the employee) are symptomatic (fever, cough, shortness of breath)
  • All Well Care employees should monitor themselves for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
  • You should remain home from work and follow routine call-out procedures if you present with ANY COVID-19 symptoms!
  • Any employee who meets the criteria for COVID-19 should report to the PI Department within two hours. The employee should complete an infection control form on the HealthCare SafetyZone Portal (you can find a link to SafetyZone on your desktop and/or contact PI).  
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often! *Proper hand hygiene is paramount! Please stay vigilant on this!*
  • If you live with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, you should inform your supervisor and PI.
  • Any employee meeting should be virtual or via phone – no exceptions.
*IMPORTANT- If you are exposed to a COVID-19 positive patient while wearing the proper PPE, you do not need to quarantine. If you are unsure what the proper PPE is, please contact your Clinical Manager immediately.
 
*Remember – Our Clinical Managers should be your first point of contact when you have a supply related question. DO NOT go into a Well Care office looking for supplies unless specifically directed to by your Director of Operations or Regional Director of Operations!
 
Please refer to the documents listed under the ‘Well Care All’ team in Microsoft Teams, in the ‘Educational Resources’ Channel – Supply How To Folder (link below), for full details on the Well Care Health supply processes.