PREPARING YOUR STAFF
1. Staff Screening It’s important to think about preparing your team for their return to the practice, both for the practical changes they’ll experience, and also the reassurances, additional training and education they may need. Consider screening staff for symptoms of COVID-19 on their initial return to work, and then on a daily basis thereafter. A staff screening log should be maintained.
An initial risk assessment should explore risk factors arising from each team member’s time out of the practice (e.g. were they/a member of their household self-isolating for symptoms of COVID-19 at any point? Did they volunteer to work in another area of healthcare or for a charity during lockdown? Have they had a test for COVID-19, and what was the result?). The daily screening process below could then be followed, in order to identify staff as:
• Possible/confirmed COVID-19 cases, directly or through their household, who should self-isolate.
• Staff who are at increased risk of harm from COVID-19 infection and should be shielded or may need to take other precautions in line with the UDC SOP.
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• Other staff who are considered at lower risk of harm from COVID-19 who should follow the updated PPE guidelines and ICPs.
Until reliable, low cost, instant antigen and antibody screening tests for COVID-19 are available, the daily screening process could be to take each team member’s temperature with a contactless forehead thermometer, then ask questions in line with the COVID-19 case definition, in particular:
• Do you have a fever?
• Do you or does anyone in your household have a new, continuous cough? • Have you lost/noticed a change to your sense of smell or taste?
• If you or anyone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19, are you still in the self/ household isolation period?
If a team member answers yes to any of the questions, or has a temperature of 38°C or above, they should be considered at high risk of having COVID-19 infection and sent home. Note that temperature checks should not be used in isolation to determine risk, as they are not considered a reliable measure of infectivity.