Version date: 26 March 2020
Staff who are required to perform critical functions, either on-site or off, should at all times avoid public gatherings, public places where uncontrolled close contact (<1 meter or 3 feet) with others might occur, or any other close contact with potentially infectious persons.
Staff who are identified to perform on-site critical functions should not come to work under any of the following circumstances:
- They are feeling unwell or have any cold/flu type symptoms (cough, fever, headache, sore throat, body aches). Staff will be advised to acquire a thermometer, and to check their body temperature each morning and evening. No staff member should go to work if the measured temperature is higher than 38oC (100.4oF);
- One of their family members has suspected or confirmed infection with Covid-19;
- They are aware that they have had recent contact (within 14 Days) with someone who is now known to have contracted Covid-19.
- They have travelled to a location with widespread local transmission of Covid-19 within 14 days.
Transport to the Workplace
Public transport should be avoided at all times. Options for transport to the workplace, in order of preference from a risk perspective, are:
- Travel alone in own vehicle.
- Under such circumstances, no special protective measures are required.
- Travel alone in a rented vehicle.
- On first acquisition of the vehicle, commonly touched surfaces (door handles, driving controls, surfaces in immediate vicinity of seating) should be wiped down with a recommended disinfectant solution.
- Hands should be washed after any wipe down procedure.
- Shared travel in vehicle or bus.
- Avoid use of any shared vehicle that will require you to be within less than 1M (3 feet) of the next passenger. Commonly touched surfaces (door handles, driving controls, surfaces in immediate vicinity of seating) should be wiped down with a recommended disinfectant solution before each use of the vehicle.
- All occupants should wash their hands soon after leaving the vehicle and avoid touching their faces during transport.
- Hands should be washed after any wipe down procedure.
Any staff member who develops Covid-19 Symptoms should be asked to stay at home and contact the 24-Hour JMS Sitcen on 0724255378, for guidance on accessing health care services safely. They should avoid close contact with other persons to minimize chances of spread.
Persons who have been exposed to a known case of Covid-19 (i.e. “contacts”) should also be asked to stay home for 14 days after last exposure to the virus, to cover the incubation period.
If a staff member is caring for a suspected Covid-19 case, they should not return to the office until 14 days have lapsed since resolution of symptoms in the suspected case. During these 14 days, they should monitor for symptoms of Covid-19.
Stock bottled water or store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Plan to store 4 litres of water per person per day (2 litres for drinking and 2 litres for household use). Water requirements will also depend on other factors such as temperature. In hot climates an individual’s water requirement may double and children, nursing mothers and those who are ill often require additional supplies. You should store enough water for at least a three-week period. Water purification kits or filters are readily available and should be purchased as a backup.
- Store a three-week supply of non-perishable foods. You may wish to consider if you can start a vegetable garden in order to supplement your provisions.
- Select foods that require no refrigeration as electricity supplies may not be available. Consider how you will cook the food, if you need to stock up on gas bottles, for example. As clean water may be limited, choose foods that require little or no water to prepare. Foods that you may consider are:
- Ready-to-eat canned meats and soups, fruits and vegetables
- Dry goods such as noodles (remember that you will need to allow for enough water to cook these items). Dry cereal, dried fruits and crackers
- Canned juices
- Peanut butter or nuts
- Staples (salt, sugar, pepper, spices, etc.)
- High energy foods such as protein or fruit bars
- Food for infants – canned or jarred baby food and formula
- Comfort/stress foods
- Pet food
- Keep food in the driest and coolest spot in the house – a dark area if possible. Make sure that it is sealed off from possible vermin.
- Keep food covered at all times.
- Open food boxes or cans carefully so that you can close them tightly after each use.
- Wrap cookies and crackers in plastic bags and keep them in tight containers. This will stop them from going stale and prolong shelf life.
- Empty opened packages of sugar, dried fruits and nuts into screw-top jars or airtight cans to protect them from pests.
- Inspect all food containers for signs of spoilage before use.
- If you lose power, minimize waste by using the food in your fridge first, then the freezer and then finally your non-perishable items.
Guidelines on the Storage Shelf Life of Common Emergency Foods
(Please Note: Always check the expiry date on the packaging. Ambient high temperature and humidity may reduce the shelf life)
Use within six months:
Powdered milk (boxed), dried fruit (in metal container), dry, crisp crackers (in metal container), and potatoes.
Use within one year:
Canned condensed meat and vegetable soups: canned fruits, fruit juices and vegetables; ready-to-eat cereals and uncooked instant cereals (in metal containers); peanut butter, jams; hard candy, chocolate bars and canned nuts.
May be stored indefinitely (in proper containers and conditions):
Wheat: vegetable oils; corn; backing powder, soybeans, instant coffee, tea, vitamin C and cocoa, salt, non-carbonated soft drinks, white rice, bouillon products, dry pasta, powdered milk (in nitrogen-packed cans).
- Purchase an emergency supply of petrol/diesel for your car.
- Buy extra provisions of candles, paraffin lamps, batteries, etc. as electricity supplies may not be available.
- Consider how you will prepare foods and consider non-electrical alternatives.
- Keep extra bottle of gas if feasible
Emergency services may be limited during a time of crisis. Therefore, make sure your home emergency medical kit is not out-of-date, check all supplies for expiry dates and replace any items that are out-of-date or nearing the expiration date.
You may wish to consider stockpiling the following items:
- Glucose and blood pressure monitoring kit
- Adhesive bandages, various sizes
- Sterile dressings, small and large
- Conforming roller gauze bandage
- Triangular bandages
- Packs of sterile gauze pads, large and small
- Adhesive tape, 2” width
- Pairs of medical grade non-latex gloves, medium and large
- Waterless alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Antiseptic wipes
- Anti-bacterial ointment
- Cold pack
- Scissors (small, personal)
- Thermometers – remember to have a spare
- CPR breathing barrier, such as a face shield
- Face masks, 3-ply simple surgical masks
- Pain and fever reliever – remember to include both children and adult supplies
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- Antacid (for stomach upset)
- Fluids with electrolytes (an oral rehydration solution (ORS))
- Stock up on prescription medications that you might need. For example, if one of your family members is diabetic, ensure that you have enough supplies for at least 6 weeks, or if someone has a heart condition, ask your doctor for an extra prescription so that you can have an emergency supply of all the medications your family members need.
- Soap and water or alcohol-based hand wash
- Garbage bags and cleaning supplies; Covid-19 viruses are easily cleaned away with most commercial disinfectants. For bathing, soap and water is sufficient.
- Spare contact lenses
- Denture and personal hygiene needs (tissues, toilet paper, disposable diapers)
- Hearing aid batteries
- Fire extinguisher (make sure you all know how to use it)
- A clock that runs off batteries (include spare batteries)
- Extra batteries
- Portable radio
- Manual can opener
Disposal of Wastes
Remember that if there are movement restrictions imposed in an area, the collection of waste may not be possible. It is important that you consider alternative arrangements such as composting food wastes. If you live in a multiple storey building, ask the building manager if there are emergency plans in place to deal with not only waste disposal but also possible disruption to water and electrical supplies.
During COVID-19 pandemic, it may not be possible to provide acute or ambulatory-care services for all persons who might need them. It is possible that health care facilities will triage patients and may only be able to provide care for the most severely ill patients. As such, patients with mild illness may require care in the home setting. Such patients may be infectious to others for a period of time and could transmit the infection or to household contacts.
Pandemic COVID-19 can spread easily within a household. Everyone in contact with an ill person who has not already been infected is at risk for infection. Household members should observe the following recommendations:
- Limit contact with the ill person as much as possible. Stay in a different room or if that is not possible, stay as far away from the ill person as possible, e.g. sleep in a separate bed and bedroom, if possible.
- Shared spaces (restrooms, kitchen, bathroom, etc) should be well ventilated (e.g. natural ventilation, keeping windows open).
- Cleaning of the environment is important to prevent indirect transmission, particularly in shared spaces.
- If close contact care must be provided to the ill person, the ill person should cover their cough with tissue paper or surgical mask). If available, the caregiver should wear a surgical mask to protect against respiratory droplets when in close contact with the ill person.
- Materials used to cover the mouth/nose should be discarded appropriately in a lined, covered garbage bin.
- Avoid direct contact with body fluids. If contact occurs, perform hand hygiene immediately afterwards.
- Hand hygiene can be performed by means of hand washing with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
 All vehicle occupants should be asymptomatic, with no known history of recent contact with infected persons.