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What LTSS Pre-Surge Planning Toolkit Means for Families

The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), working with the Department of Health, Department of Medicaid, and Department of Aging, created a plan for supporting people in long-term care facilities and homes who may have been exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Please do not use this document on its own. Its purpose is to help families understand the Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) Pre-Surge Planning Toolkit.

Resources in LTSS Pre-Surge Planning Toolkit

  • LTSS Pre-Surge Planning Toolkit
    • It is a toolkit to be used by providers and direct support professionals (DSPs) to help Ohioans who use long term care and supports during the COVID-19 crisis. It is a part of Governor Mike DeWine’s aggressive approach to protecting all of Ohio’s citizens and to prepare for the care of people during the COVID-19 state of emergency.

Things Families Need to Know from the LTSS Guidance Document

Three COVID-19 Statuses

  •  It is important to identify, and separate, people based on their exposure to and having COVID-19. Assigning a category to people is necessary to stop the spread of the infection to the people being supported, their DSPs, and/or their family members. Patients or residents should be divided into the following three status categories:
    • No Exposure
      • No symptoms: People who appear well and able to receive care as they would under normal situations
      • In the toolkit, people with no symptoms are green.
    • Exposed
      • No symptoms: People who are known to have been in direct contact with someone who has COVID-19. These people need careful monitoring for 14 days, and more personal protective equipment (PPE) should be used when interacting with them.
      • In the toolkit, people who have been exposed with no symptoms are orange.
    • COVID-19 Positive
      • Have symptoms: People have been confirmed to have or are suspected to have COVID-19. These people need careful monitoring for worsening symptoms, and additional PPE should be used when interacting with them.
      • In the toolkit, people who are confirmed or suspected of COVID-19 are purple.

The Difference between Quarantine and Isolation

  • Quarantine and isolation are a large part of the LTSS Toolkit, and knowing the difference can keep people safe and slow the spread of COVID-19.
    • Quarantine
      • A separate living space for people who have been exposed to COVID-19 but without symptoms so they avoid contact with people with no exposure, no symptoms, or no diagnosis of COVID-19
    • Isolation
      • A separate living space for people who have been told by a medical professional or the local health department that they have COVID-19 or have symptoms that could be COVID-19

Information Regarding PPE

  • Ways to ensure that PPE can protect family members and DSPs properly
    • Avoid wearing makeup or chapstick while using masks.
      • Wet masks are less effective masks.
    • Avoid baggy clothing and jewelry.
      • Wear fitted, thin clothes, because PPE can get hot.
    • If possible, wear washable shoes
  • What to do when PPE runs out
    • There are currently two stages of PPE availability:
      • Contingency Capacity
        • What PPE can be used when the typically preferable PPE is in short supply or entirely unavailable
        • DSPs can use page 23, tool 11 of the LTSS Toolkit as a graphic for what PPE can be used in relation to the COVID-19 status of the person
      • Crisis Capacity
        • What PPE can be used when contingency-level PPE supplies are in short supply or entirely unavailable
        • DSPs can use page 24, tool 12 of the LTSS Toolkit as a graphic for what PPE can be used in relation to the COVID-19 status of the person
    • Page 4 of LTSS Toolkit goes into more detail regarding how to use PPE in contingency and crisis capacity
    • It is possible to be in crisis capacity for some PPE while also being in contingency capacity for other PPE
      • For example, a provider could be in contingency capacity for gloves but be in crisis capacity for masks at the same time.

Tips for Engaging Nursing Facility and Congregate Care Residents (Toolkit, page 19)

Interacting with your family member is particularly important during times of stress and uncertainty. They should be engaged throughout the day, asking questions about their family, interests, or hobbies, inquiring about feelings, and sharing their own experiences about how they are staying positive and hopeful.

These tips are simple ideas to support people during times of isolation and could be adapted based on your family members’ health status. It is important to use strategies for having a meaningful day with self-empowerment, learning, and developing skills.

  • Tips for Cleaning and Disinfecting Homes and Congregate Care Settings (Toolkit, page 25)
    • These tips provide guidance on how to clean areas where people live and get together. Tips cover how to clean hard surfaces, soft surfaces, electronics, and clothing.
  • Tips for Disinfecting Homes and Residential Communities with Confirmed/Suspected COVID-19 (Toolkit, page 26)
    • These tips give information on cleaning areas and surfaces where people with COVID-19 or suspected of having COVID-19 have been.