Care Updates for Our Clients
A complete record of important coronavirus notifications to clients and families, by date.
Most Recent Updates
Scroll down to read earlier notifications.
Friday, January 29th 2021
With COVID-19 rates continuing to rise, we are reaching out with important safety and policy updates. Please be sure to read to the end of this message as it contains important information on how you can reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission for you and your loved ones.
New disposable masks are required to be worn by Care Pros at all times Given the continued high COVID-19 incident rates, Care Pros continue to be required to wear proper disposable PPE for the entirety of their visit. Below are four important guidelines.
- Care Pros are unable to honor client requests for them to remove their masks while in the client’s home.
- If a Care Pro needs to remove their mask to eat or drink, we ask that they do so in a different room or at least 6 feet from their client.
- Please store masks in a consistent, easily accessible location so that Care Pros know where to find them.
- If you observe your Care Pro not wearing a mask in accordance with these guidelines during their visit, please contact Honor immediately.
KN95 masks are optional for Care Pros to wear starting 2/1/21 As an added precaution, effective February 1, Care Pros will be given the option to wear KN95 respirator masks instead of the blue surgical masks. Respirator masks such as the KN95 are generally a tighter fit than are surgical masks, providing reduced risk of transmission. Honor will provide these KN95s masks to you at no additional cost, and they will be delivered to client homes in our next round of PPE deliveries.
Under OSHA guidelines KN95s are not required for employees who are caring for a client who is not symptomatic or diagnosed with COVID-19. In that case the Care Pro should wear a new, disposable surgical mask at each visit, which the Care Pro will bring with them, at Honor’s expense.
Help reduce the risk of transmission It is important to remember that while Honor has taken a number of precautionary steps to reduce risk of COVID transmission, we cannot guarantee that you or your loved one will not be exposed to or contract COVID-19. You can further reduce risk by:
- Wearing a mask whenever in close contact with others, including when a Care Pro is in the home.
- Practicing social distancing, including by limiting visitors and non-essential outings.
- Speaking with your medical provider about whether the COVID-19 vaccine makes sense for you or your loved ones.
Thank you for your continued support during this challenging time. Please call your client manager if you have any questions.
Thursday, December 17, 2020
Over the past 10 months, we’ve provided many updates on the COVID-19 pandemic and the steps we are taking to reduce the risk of COVID for our clients and Care Pros. While it has been a challenging time, we are very excited for the incredible scientific progress that has been made in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. As of last week, the FDA granted Emergency Use Authorization approval for the first COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech. We are closely following this and other developments in vaccine approvals and distribution.
While this is undoubtedly exciting progress, we are not yet through this crisis. Many of our service areas are experiencing a COVID surge and vaccine supplies are currently very limited. It is critical to continue to practice social distancing and wear masks to support everyone’s safety. You can find frequently asked questions and answers about the COVID-19 vaccine based on public health guidance here.
We appreciate your continued efforts to reduce the risk of community spread—and will keep you updated on COVID vaccine developments. We strongly encourage everyone to speak with their healthcare providers and to get the vaccine once eligible.
Wednesday, December 9, 2020
We hope you had a healthy and happy Thanksgiving holiday. We understand that it is a particularly challenging time to be separated from friends and family, and we appreciate your partnership in adhering to public health guidance on ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19. COVID rates are at or approaching record levels in many of our communities.
With the winter holidays beginning this week, we are once again reaching out to remind you of our safety policies and steps you can take to safeguard your health and wellness and that of your family and our Care Pros.
Please note that for the December holidays, we ask that Honor Care Pros do not attend their visits if the client or family is hosting or attending a gathering with people outside of their clients’ immediate household. Please refer to your county’s public health department for further guidance.
If you plan to host or attend a gathering with people from multiple households, we will ask that you cancel your visit for the day. Please note that staffing for other upcoming visits may also be impacted. If you would like to adjust your care schedule for the holidays, please contact your Client Manager.
We continue to require Care Pros to wear a new, disposable mask for all visits. Please contact Honor immediately if you are running low.
The CDC recommends wearing masks when in contact with anyone outside your household for your protection and theirs. This would include Honor Care Pro visits. We understand that this is a difficult time for all families. Please note that despite our robust safety protocols, we cannot guarantee you or your loved one will not contract COVID-19. If you are concerned about COVID transmission and prefer to pause care at this time, please contact your Client Manager. As always, if you develop symptoms or are diagnosed positive for COVID-19, please contact Honor immediately.
We thank you for entrusting us to care for your loved one and we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
The past 8 months of the COVID-19 pandemic have been challenging for many. We are reaching out to remind you of some steps you can take this season to safeguard your health and wellness and that of your family and our Care Pros.
It’s understandable that the holidays are a particularly challenging time to be separated from friends and family. However, with COVID-19 cases rising sharply across the country, public health officials, including the CDC, recommend that to best mitigate the risk of spread, people avoid gathering with individuals from other households.
Please note that Honor Care Pros should not attend gatherings with individuals outside of their clients’ immediate household. Care Pros may be removed from the visit in these instances. If you would like to adjust your care schedule for the holidays, please contact your Client Manager.
If you do plan to host or attend a gathering this Thanksgiving, we request that you adhere to the following best practices from the CDC for your safety, for your family’s safety, your Care Pros’ safety, and for the safety of your community.
- Do not host or participate in any in-person gatherings if you or anyone in your household
- Has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and has not met the criteria for when it is safe to be around others
- Has symptoms of COVID-19
- Is waiting for COVID-19 viral test results
- May have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
- Is at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19
- If possible, gather outdoors, at a distance of 6 or more feet, and while wearing masks when not eating or drinking
- Limit the number of attendees and avoid direct contact (e.g. hugs or handshakes) with members from other households
- Increase ventilation in your home by opening windows - weather permitting - or by placing heating systems on continuous circulation
- Avoid potluck-style meals and limit the number of people going in and out of where food is prepared
- Regularly wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Be sure to wipe down commonly used surfaces with disinfectants
- You can read the full list of CDC recommendations for a safer Thanksgiving holiday on their website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html
If you, any of your household members or your guests develop symptoms or are diagnosed with COVID, please contact Honor immediately so that we can take appropriate steps. Please note that Care Pros are still required to wear a new disposable surgical mask for all visits; please contact Honor immediately if you are running low.
As always, we thank you for entrusting us to care for your loved one and we wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday.
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
As we enter flu season at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic remains a significant risk, taking appropriate precautions is critical. Therefore, we want to remind you of two steps you and your loved ones can take to safeguard your health and wellness:
- Flu Shot: We encourage you to consult with your medical provider about the flu shot. The flu shot is available at pharmacies including Walgreens and CVS, as well as many health clinics. While the flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19, the CDC reports that receiving the flu vaccine may reduce the risk of having to go to the doctor with flu by 40-60%. In order to further support the safety of our community, Honor is also once again paying for the flu vaccine as a benefit to interested Care Pros.
- Wear a mask - and be on the lookout for masks from Honor: Masks continue to provide protection against both COVID-19 and the flu. This is why we continue to require all Care Pros to wear a new disposable mask at every visit, and our standard mask program remains in place.
To further protect our clients and Care Pros against spread of both COVID and the seasonal flu, we are asking clients to wear masks when Care Pros are in the home. You can expect to receive two cloth masks in the coming weeks, free of charge. These will be hand-delivered to your home by Honor’s local agency Partners. You can ask your caregiver for help washing your extra mask with your regular laundry.
We also request that you help support the safety of yourself and our Care Pros by limiting visitors to your home at this time, encouraging the wearing of face coverings by all visitors, and washing your hands frequently. If you or a member of your household tests positive for COVID or has close contact with anyone who has tested positive, we ask that you call Honor immediately.
With Care, Your Honor Team
Thursday, August 13, 2020
Important COVID Updates from Honor
We continue to improve our COVID policies to support your health and safety. We want you to be aware of the most recent updates to our COVID protocols and have shared this information with your Care Pro(s) as well.
1. Mandatory Mask Program Reminder There is increasing guidance from public health authorities that face coverings are one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of transmission of infectious illnesses like COVID.
There should be a new, disposable mask for your Care Pro to wear at each visit. It continues to be mandatory for all Care Pros to wear masks during their visits with you. If masks are not available, or if a Care Pro is not wearing a mask, please contact Honor immediately. Note that Care Pros may remove their masks to eat or drink, but they must do so at least 6 feet away from you and any members of your household.
We also recommend that you and any other people present in your household wear face coverings in order to reduce the risk of transmission.
2. Enhanced Infection Control PPE Kits If you or anyone in your household develops symptoms, we will ask that the person exhibiting symptoms wear a mask during all visits by Care Pros.
We will be dropping off a labelled, white bag with Enhanced Infection Control PPE to your home to use in the event that you experience onset of symptoms during a visit by a Care Pro.
These bags include:
- A small number of KN95 masks and gloves for Care Pro use.
- A small number of surgical masks for you to wear if you become symptomatic. Your Care Pro can help ensure proper mask usage and disposal.
Note that these kits should be used only if you are experiencing COVID symptoms. Your Care Pro has been asked to call Honor immediately if you begin to display any symptoms. Please let us know if you have any conditions that prevent you from wearing face coverings.
3. Screening for Potential Exposure Care Pros are asked several screening questions prior to each visit. They are also instructed to ask you some basic screening questions about whether you 1) are experiencing symptoms of COVID; 2) have traveled internationally recently; or 3) have had recent contact with someone diagnosed with COVID.
We have clarified that these screening questions apply to your household members as well. If anyone in your household answers “yes,” to these questions, your Care Pro will be prompted to call Honor immediately so we can determine next steps. Please be sure to reinforce with members of your household that your Care Pro will need to collect this information.
We also request that you help support the safety of yourself and our Care Pros by limiting visitors to your home at this time and encouraging the wearing of face coverings by all visitors. If you or a member of your household tests positive for COVID or has close contact with anyone who has tested positive, we ask that you let Honor know immediately.
On behalf of your Honor care team, thank you for entrusting your care to us. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.
Thursday, July 2, 2020
Important coronavirus reminders - July 2
Thank you for your continued trust in us to provide care for your loved one during this challenging time. Although counties and states are in the process of re-opening, COVID infection rates are still steady or increasing in much of the country. The communities which Honor serves are no exception.
As the pandemic continues, we know that you and your family are making difficult trade-offs between the risks of non-family members visiting your home and the benefits of trained care professionals supporting your loved one’s critical needs. While we have implemented enhanced infection control procedures over the course of the pandemic, including our mask service, Honor cannot prevent you from becoming infected with COVID.
For the safety of our community including you and all of our clients and caregivers, we request that our clients:
- Reduce Visitors: Limit visitors to your home. In particular, we request that any necessary visits are done outside of shifts with Honor employees.
- Wear Face Coverings: Please wear and have your household members wear face coverings when in close proximity (within 6 feet or in the same room) to CPs providing service. —As a reminder, Care Pros are required to wear a new disposable mask at each visit. We are excited to be able to provide these masks through our mask program. —For the comfort of our clients, face coverings such as cloth, reusable masks, a bandana, are sufficient. —As a reminder, if you would like to use Honor-provided masks for members of your household who are not clients we would be happy to do so for an additional $3/visit. Please reach out to your Client Manager to confirm.
- Reduce Non-Essential Outings: For your safety, it continues to be recommended to limit non-essential outings. Our Care Pros can help you with your errands or other needs.
- Regularly Wash Your Hands: Washing your hands is a key part of infection control.
- Regularly Monitor Your Temperature: And report any signs of COVID or other infectious illnesses to your Honor team and consult with your medical providers if you have any concerns.
Thank you for your trust in us during this difficult time. Honor and our local agency partners are here to support you. Please do not hesitate to contact us.
Sunday, May 3, 2020
Reminder: update to service terms: masks for every visit
Recently we announced that moving forward all Care Pros would be wearing a new, disposable mask at all visits, and that the masks would be delivered directly to your doorstep. We launched this program because wearing appropriate masks is critical to reducing the risk of people without COVID-19 symptoms unknowingly transmitting the coronavirus to others. We hope you’ve felt more protected over the past week as we’ve rolled out this program to our Care Pros.
We’re writing to remind you that your upcoming invoice will reflect an equipment service fee for this program for all visits taking place between the announcement date and April 30th, which is the end of the invoice period. We originally announced this fee would be $5 per visit. However, as prices for masks, gloves and other protective equipment have been varying day to day, we have since been able to lower our acquisition costs, so we are passing the savings along by reducing this fee to $3 per visit, since our only goal of this program is to promote safety.
Under this program, we will ensure there is an adequate supply of new, disposable masks in your home. Should you experience any symptoms of illness yourself, we will send additional equipment to your home such as additional masks, gloves and other protective equipment as warranted, all at no additional cost to you.
You’ll be invoiced this equipment service fee every two weeks for the duration of our mask distribution program, which will continue in accordance with government guidance and local health conditions. Throughout the duration of the program, we’ll keep looking for opportunities to keep the cost to you as low as possible.
As a reminder, masks are only for client and Care Pro use during a visit and should not be taken home by the Care Pro or distributed to others inside your home. If you would like to secure additional masks for other members of your household for an additional fee per visit, please reach out to your Client Manager.
In a time of global shortages of masks and other personal protective equipment, we feel very fortunate to be able to supply you with new disposable masks for every visit, and we thank you for your continued support of this program. As always, please reach out to your Client Manager if you have any questions.
Friday, April 17, 2020
Update to service terms: masks for every visit
Thank you for your continued trust in us to safely provide care for your loved one during this challenging time. After many weeks of behind the scenes work in the face of global supply constraints, we’re pleased to let you know that we’ve been able to procure sufficient disposable masks so that all Care Pros will now wear a new disposable mask at all visits. We will be supporting this through the launch of a mask service in which we will deliver to your home a sufficient number of masks to cover all of your visits.
We’ve taken this latest step based on the most recent CDC recommendations and requirements in counties across the country a requiring face coverings for individuals in public or working in essential services. Masks are a key way to mitigate infection transmission from carriers of the disease who show no symptoms and do not know they have it.
We’ve shared many communications with you over the past few weeks about the significant additional safeguards we’ve put in place to support your loved one’s health during this challenging time. Until now, all of these services have been provided at no cost to you. Beginning April 22 you’ll see a fee of $5 per visit applied to your invoice labeled Equipment Service Fee. We’ve worked hard to acquire reliable supplies at competitive prices and this fee represents only a small portion of our costs in securing and delivering the supplies to you.
We will be in touch shortly to coordinate delivery of your first package of masks. Below are answers to some questions you may have about this program, but please reach out to your Client Manager if you have any additional questions or concerns.
How long will Care Pros be required to wear masks? We’re currently requiring disposable mask usage at all visits until May 15 but will closely monitor the public health situation as it evolves.
Will this cost ever change? We’ve spent weeks sourcing our supplies at the lowest cost available, but as the global market for supplies fluctuates, we may need to adjust this fee as our costs change. We want to reiterate that the $5 fee is only a small portion of the cost we’re incurring to provide these masks, but we’re making this investment because we believe it’s a key safety enhancement for providing care at this time.
Can I supply my own masks? Honor-provided masks are required since masks are currently very difficult and unreliable to find. Not having proper masks in home could lead to disruptions in care and by providing them we are able to ensure our Care Pros have necessary equipment to provide care.
Why can’t my Care Pro wear a cloth mask? Cloth masks are not as safe as disposable masks. The close interactions that your Care Pro has in your home are more akin to facilities, and they also require disposable masks.
Does my Care Pro have to wear a mask? For your and your Care Pro’s safety, all Care Pros will receive guidance that they are required to wear masks while in the homes of our clients. Masks are a critical tool in mitigating the spread of infectious illnesses like coronavirus and in some areas required for essential workers.
How will I receive my masks? In order to allow your loved one to stay at home where they’re safest, new supplies will be delivered to their door every two weeks.
You will be hearing more from us in the coming days to coordinate delivery of your first 2 weeks of masks. Thank you as always for supporting us in creating a safer and healthier environment for your loved one.
Friday, March 27, 2020
New infection control steps and staffing updates
Thank you for your continued trust in us to provide care for your loved one during this challenging time. We know that you and your family are making difficult trade-offs between the risks of non-family members visiting your home and the benefits of trained caregivers supporting your loved one’s critical needs. Given this, we want you to have the most up-to-date information so you can make the best decisions for your family in this constantly changing environment. As always, our top priority is your safety and that of our Care Pros, and we’ll continue to work around the clock to provide reliable care for your loved one in these rapidly-changing times.
We continue to enhance our infection-control procedures including the following:
- We’ve rolled out a new check-in process requiring all Care Pros to report any symptoms before they’re allowed to begin their client visit.
- Care Pros who report possible infectious symptoms are removed from work for a minimum of 72 hours while we work with them to assess their health status. If this should happen, your care support team will then: a. notify you that your Care Pro will not be able to fulfill their visit due to infection control procedures; and b. immediately begin restaffing your visit with another trained Care Pro.
- Any Care Pro released from your schedule due to symptoms will be able to return to work only after they’ve been cleared by a process informed by CDC best practices: they must be either symptom-free for a set period of time or have medical clearance.
- We’ll inform you if a Care Pro who has cared for your loved one subsequently tests positive for COVID-19, in accordance with public health recommendations for the appropriate elapsed time-period between the start of their symptoms and their contact with your loved one.
We also wanted to clarify our staffing and notification policies regarding Care Pros. We understand that you would like to learn as much as possible about the Care Pros coming into your loved one’s home. Unfortunately, due to the widespread presence of COVID-19 in our communities right now, it’s not possible to link someone’s potential exposure to their daily activities, including other places of work. We can’t share details about our Care Pros’ other clients nor can we re-staff visits based on that information. If you have any concerns, please contact your Client Manager who will work with you to find a solution that works for your family.
Caring for Symptomatic Clients. Due to the current lack of widespread testing, we’re not solely relying on positive COVID-19 diagnoses and have designed our infection protocols with CDC best practices in mind. Any client with symptoms of COVID-19 (or any other infectious disease) will require personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect family members and visiting caregivers. We know that finding personal protective equipment is extremely challenging right now and we have a full-time team dedicated to supplementing your efforts to secure supplies for your family. If you notice any change in your loved one’s condition, please notify Honor immediately. In order to keep our Care Pros fully informed, we’ll notify them if a client has any symptoms of illness, and they may choose to decline visits. This may impact the Care Pros that we’re able to send to your home.
We wish you and your family the best during this unfortunate time. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Honor team or local agency Partner if you have any questions or concerns.
Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Important Coronavirus Updates - March 24th
As the coronavirus continues to disrupt daily life in more and more communities, our top priority continues to be serving our clients and their families who rely on our amazing Care Pros.
During this extremely challenging time, we're working around the clock to meet our clients’ needs, help families stay informed on COVID-19 updates, and share recommendations on how to mitigate infection exposure among older adults and their caregivers. In this email, we cover our newly released protocols to help mitigate infection exposure, a notification about staffing Care Pros, and additional resources that we hope will be helpful to you.
Additional Enhanced Protocols We’re implementing a new pre-check-in process for all Care Pros before they can start a care visit—and building it into our app. We’ll be rolling out a new step, asking every Care Pro to let us know if they’re experiencing any of these symptoms of illness such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, or nausea. If a Care Pro has any of these symptoms, we will not permit them to go to their visit. We’re also prompting our Care Pros to wash their hands before doing anything else at the start of a visit. And we're working on getting thermometers out to all of our Care Pros—and will soon require a temperature check as well.
This new pre-check-in requirement is in addition to the enhanced protocols we previously announced, including:
- Instructing Care Pros to stay home if they feel sick and not penalizing them for any missed visits.
- Expanding our clearance process for any Care Pro returning to work after an illness.
- Requiring Care Pros to wear protective equipment when interacting with any client exhibiting flu-like symptoms. We know masks are in short supply so we have teams within Honor dedicated to helping source them for clients who are unable to find them.
Staffing of Care Pros If one of your regular Care Pros is feeling sick, develops illness symptoms, or lets us know that they have been diagnosed or had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, we will re-staff your upcoming visits with another qualified Care Pro. We understand that having a new caregiver you don’t yet know can be a challenge. Should your scheduled care be affected, we hope that you’ll understand that a change in Care Pro is done to support your safety and mitigate the risk of infection transmission.
We’re so appreciative of our many incredible Care Pros who are continuing to work as usual to support our clients—despite the disruptions they have in their own lives due to school closures and other restrictions. On a daily basis, we’re showing our gratitude to them—and invite you to do the same for your Care Pros if you have the opportunity. Thank you for your ongoing trust in our team during this stressful period.
Practice Social Distancing At this time, the only defense we have against the coronavirus is staying at a safe distance from other people to avoid the risk of transmission. Here’s a recent blog post, Coronavirus Updates for Older Adults and Their Families, with guidance for supporting safe social distancing, taking advantage of stores with special shopping times reserved for older adults, plus other information and best practices for your loved ones.
Feeling Isolated? Social isolation can be especially challenging for older adults right now. Consider using technology, such as Google Hangouts, FaceTime, or Amazon Echo Show, to keep in touch with your loved ones or help them connect with their friends.
If you or someone you know is feeling isolated during this shelter-in-place order, the Institute on Aging offers a Toll-free, 24-hour Friendship Line for people 60 years and older, adults with disabilities, and those feeling isolated. Call 800-971-0016 at any time.
Cleaning Supplies If you’re having trouble finding cleaning supplies and sanitizing wipes online or in stores near you, you may already have what you need in your home. Consumer Reports offers guidance on These Common Household Products Can Destroy the Novel Coronavirus and tells you which products to stay away from.
Managing Anxiety These are very stressful times—for everyone. Fortunately, there are a growing number of online resources to help you Care for Your Coronavirus Anxiety. On this site, you’ll find insightful curated content, meditations, daily mantras, and much more to help you cope with feelings of anxiety related to the coronavirus and shelter-in-place restrictions.
Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) The CDC website is an excellent resource for all information related to this coronavirus, also called COVID-19. You’ll find a wide range of information and guidance, including the Coronavirus Guidelines for America, as well as frequent updates. We recommend checking the CDC website regularly to stay informed.
Care Updates for Our Clients If you’d like to review Honor’s coronavirus notifications to our clients, they can be found here. The most recent updates are at the top. And you can scroll down to read earlier notifications.
We hope this information is helpful. If you have any questions or concerns about your upcoming care visits or if someone in your household is exhibiting symptoms of illness, please contact us.
The Honor Team
Monday, March 16, 2020
New government restrictions and what they mean for you
We know that the rapidly changing coronavirus situation continues to create questions around how you can best protect your loved one. We wanted to share our most up to date recommendations for your health and safety. We’ve also shared this guidance with our Care Pros so they’re prepared to support your loved one’s care.
What does the Bay Area Shelter in Place order mean?
Today six Bay Area counties announced that they will implement a mandatory “Shelter in Place” beginning midnight tonight and continuing through Tuesday, April 7, 2020. We believe it’s likely that other cities will follow. In the Bay Area home care services are exempt so we continue to be able to provide care. Anyone over the age of 65 or who has underlying health problems is urged to stay home at all times except for health care. Restaurants (on a to-go basis only), supermarkets, doctor’s offices, and pharmacies are still open.
Should I continue to go to medical appointments? We suggest talking to your doctor about cancelling non-urgent appointments and, if possible, moving to Telehealth appointments, which are now being covered by Medicare. Also talk to your doctor about stockpiling two or three months of any critical prescription medicines.
How is Honor enhancing their procedures to protect me? We’ve already significantly increased our infection-mitigation controls including sending a mandatory health quiz for Care Pros, changing our Care Pro sick leave policies, paying for flu shots, and requiring additional clearance when Care Pros return to work after a sickness. We will soon be asking Care Pros to take their temperatures before starting a shift and reimbursing them for thermometers if necessary. Your safety is our absolute top priority and we continue to monitor the situation around the clock and adjust our policies based on developments.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Honor client manager or local agency partner if you have any questions or concerns. We’re here to help.
Sunday, March 15, 2020
Important Coronavirus Updates
We know this continues to be a challenging time for you and your loved one, and we’re working around the clock to follow up on all the latest developments and provide caregivers to meet your needs during this difficult period. We want to make sure you have our most up to date information on how Honor and other care providers are adapting to keep your loved one safe, and also ask for your help.
Facilities In the past few days, we’ve seen skilled nursing and assisted living facilities significantly change their policies and procedures for allowing non-employees into their facilities. This has led in some instances to Care Pros being blocked from entering to provide care or encountering new requirements to be allowed inside. If your loved one is in a facility, please contact their administration immediately to understand their third-party caregiver policies. Once you receive their updated policy (ideally in writing) please send it to your client manager. We’ll then work with you and your agency partner to figure out next steps for your loved one’s care.
Reporting If the care recipient has tested positive or has been in contact with anyone that has subsequently been tested positive for COVID-19, please contact Honor immediately to let us know. This will allow us to take the proper precautions for your safety and that of your loved ones and Care Pros.
Social Distancing Today California Governor Gavin Newsom recommended that all adults over the age of 65 and with chronic conditions stay isolated in their home. Other states or counties may impose similar measures soon. We wanted to provide some suggestions to support safe social distancing.
- Review your loved one’s medical appointments. Talk to your doctor about options for non-urgent appointments and, if possible, moving to Telehealth appointments, which are now being covered by Medicare.
- Talk to your doctor about stockpiling two or three months of any critical prescription medicines.
- Your Care Pro can support errands and food shopping that your loved one typically does.
- Social isolation will be particularly challenging for your loved one right now which can be mitigated by the companionship care provided by your Care Pro. Also consider how you can use technology such as Google Hangouts, FaceTime, or Amazon Echo Show to keep in touch with your loved one or keep them in touch with their friends.
- Emphasize the importance of maintaining good habits, including sufficient sleep, healthful eating, and exercise.
Honor’s Updated Protocols As a reminder to the email we sent on March 12, we’ve significantly updated our policies to mitigate the risk of spreading the coronavirus.
Enhanced Infection Controls
- If a Care Pro exhibits any flu-like symptoms, we’re re-staffing and filling their visits with another Care Pro. We’ve also increased our clearance process for any Care Pros returning to work after being sick. We’re not penalizing Care Pros, but instead actively encouraging them to stay home if sick.
If your loved one exhibits any symptoms of infectious illnesses, we will require that they have PPE (personal protective equipment), such as gloves, gowns, or masks. We continue to require PPE for any personal care such as bathing or toileting. For clients with symptoms of airborne infections, we continue to require masks.
Care Pro Safety Precautions
- We’re sending frequent reminders (including quizzes) to Care Pros, reiterating the importance of using universal precautions including handwashing and disinfectants.
- We’re making key safety tools available to Care Pros, including hand sanitizer, flu shots, and gloves.
Thank you so much for your continued trust in us and your local agency partners. Please know that we’re all doing our absolute best to keep you informed and support your health and safety.
Thursday, March 12, 2020
Important COVID-19 Updates
This is a challenging time for many of us since there are a lot of unknowns around how the coronavirus will affect you and your family.
It’s important to take steps to protect yourself and others by continuing to follow CDC guidelines and practice proper hygiene and social distancing. According to the CDC, you should stay away from public spaces or any activity that brings you into close contact with others, including long plane trips and cruises. We encourage you to take advantage of the new Medicare guidelines around using tele-health services instead of visiting the doctor’s office. And please help remind Care Pros to wash their hands frequently and disinfect all surfaces for everyone’s benefit.
We want you to feel informed about the in-home care you receive from Honor so we’re sharing how we are enhancing our COVID-19 infection-mitigation protocols. We still believe that home is the safest place for you to be. Our Care Pros continue to be available to provide our full range of services. They can also be helpful in running errands so that you can stay away from stores to limit exposure.
Listed below are some of our enhanced protocols that we’ve implemented to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus:
Enhanced Infection Controls
- If a Care Pro exhibits any flu-like symptoms, we’re re-staffing and filling their visits with another Care Pro. We’ve also increased our clearance process for any Care Pros returning to work after being sick. We’re not penalizing Care Pros, but instead actively encouraging them to stay home if sick.
We’re also putting in place heightened infection controls to reduce the chance of transmission.
Care Pro Safety Precautions
- We’re sending frequent reminders to Care Pros, reiterating the importance of using universal precautions including handwashing and disinfectants.
We’re making key safety tools available to Care Pros, including hand sanitizer, flu shots, and gloves.
- We’re actively adjusting our protocols based on the latest local and federal guidelines and we’ve reached out to public health officials in every county we serve to stay up to date.
We’re in close contact with facilities we serve to stay informed of their most recent guidance and instructions.
Guidelines for Our Agency Partners Our agency partners provide critical support to you and your loved ones by conducting initial assessments, following up with in-person check-ups, and helping Honor update Care Plans as your needs change. We’re working closely with our agency partners to ensure they’re also supporting appropriate safety protocols such as:
- Providing them frequent training and updates on infection control procedures.
- Asking them to help secure personal protective equipment (“PPE”) and distribute to clients where clients are unable to obtain it themselves.
- We’ve updated the initial consult and care reassessment forms to screen for flu-like symptoms so we can implement our enhanced safety procedures.
If you exhibit any symptoms of infectious illnesses, we will require that you have PPE, such as gloves, gowns, or masks. We continue to require PPE for any personal care such as bathing or toileting. For clients with symptoms of airborne infections, we continue to require masks.
We know masks are in short supply, and we’re actively seeking to acquire as many as we can to support care. If you don’t have masks and need them for care, please contact medical providers involved in your care, such as home health or your doctor, who may have better access to them.
Thank you for your trust in Honor and our agency partners and for your patience during this unprecedented time. Your safety and confidence in us are our top priorities as we work around the clock to navigate through these challenging circumstances.
Wednesday, March 4, 2020
We are continuing to monitor COVID-19 virus (also referred to as a “coronavirus”) developments. We take this extremely seriously and wanted to share with you what we’re doing to support your safety and wellbeing and that of your care providers.
Staying at home is one way to minimize exposure to infection. For this reason, we feel fortunate to be able to provide care that can keep people at home. Since this is a rapidly evolving situation we’re taking a number of precautionary measures out of an abundance of caution.
We’ve created a task force made up of senior leaders across our company to make sure we’re quickly updating our care policies and operating procedures as needed to reflect the latest public health guidance and sharing those with you in real-time. We’ve also helped form a newly-created industry task force to receive and share best practices with other home care agencies.
We’ve activated heightened infection control procedures and will continue to follow them and adapt as the situation evolves. We’re also communicating frequently with our Care Pros to ensure they’re following best practices and not coming to work when sick and we’ve offered them flu shots if they haven’t already gotten one this season. While the flu shot doesn’t protect against coronavirus, the seasonal flu is a risk to our client population, and the vaccine can reduce the likelihood of illness and pressure on the health system.
We’re following reports that the government is expanding the availability of coronavirus testing for individuals with symptoms like fever, cough, or difficulty breathing and taking steps to enable Medicare providers to more broadly administer tele-health services so that more older adults can receive medical care at home. We want you to be armed with all the latest information so you can make informed decisions about your health and we will continue to provide updates.
In the event that you do receive notice that you have a potential coronavirus exposure (e.g., from a hospital or other facility that you have visited or from a public health official) please let us know right away so we can work together to best support you.
Finally we’d like to remind you of some best practices that will be the most effective way for you to reduce your risk of getting sick and spreading illnesses:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Don’t touch your face, specifically your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- Throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands
- Wipe down all frequently-used surfaces in the home as well as personal items (including phones) with disinfectants or cleaning wipes
- Avoid large public gatherings and crowded spaces as much as possible
- Stock up on hygiene supplies, including gloves and gowns. If you’re having issues finding supplies, please let your Client Manager know.
We know you’re concerned about the health of yourself and your loved ones, and we want to assure you that we’re committed to working together to enable our clients to stay in the safety and comfort of their home.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Client Manager if you have any questions.
Friday, February 28, 2020
Important Notice regarding COVID-19 from Honor
We’ve been closely following news of COVID-19 (also referred to as a coronavirus). The incidence of COVID-19 is presently low in the United States. However, as with any cold and flu season, it’s important to practice flu-season best practices. Our primary concern is your health and safety and that of our Care Pros.
We’re communicating directly with Care Pros and emphasizing that they follow our standard flu-season best practices. We ask that all care recipients and household members do the same. It’s important that you encourage and adhere to these best practices and notify us if they aren’t being followed by our Care Pros:
- Wash hands at the beginning of a visit and frequently throughout the visit with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Do not touch faces, including eyes or nose, with unwashed hands.
- Cough or sneeze into a clean tissue or upper sleeve followed by hand washing.
- Wipe down all frequently-used surfaces in the home as well as personal items (including phones), with disinfectants or cleaning wipes.
- Care Pros are asked to use gloves when performing personal care or other activities with potential for contact with bodily fluids.
- As always, Care Pros are asked to stay home in case of illness, especially fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or other signs of respiratory illness.
Please make sure you have adequate gloves, gowns (if toileting is being performed), and disinfecting supplies in the house, including disposable wipes. We’ll contact you if a Care Pro makes us aware of missing or low supplies.
If the care recipient exhibits symptoms of illness, including fever, cough or shortness of breath, please seek medical attention immediately and update Honor regarding the guidance received from a medical professional, including any guidance regarding the recipient’s home care.
In the unlikely event that the care recipient or anyone close to them becomes infected with COVID-19, please let Honor know immediately.
We’ll continue to keep a close eye on this situation and keep you posted if anything changes. Thank you for helping us take measures to prioritize the health and safety of you, your loved ones, and your Care Pros.