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Coronavirus Outbreak

Coronavirus Outbreak

13 March 2020

Coronavirus Outbreak

The health, safety and wellbeing of people we support and Staff are always our top priorities. We have therefore put in place robust and comprehensive contingency plans to prepare for, and respond to, the coronavirus outbreak in Ireland. Our plans will be kept under regular review and updated as advised by the HSE.

This document details the latest guidance from WALK about the steps that we are taking in our services. This information is intended for WALK Service Users, Staff and any visitors to our services.

For comprehensive information about the coronavirus itself, please visit  HSE website.

As a preventative measure we are asking all non-emergency or essential meetings of more than  four people are to be cancelled or not scheduled until the picture becomes clearer. As far as possible any meeting that must go ahead to be carried out in as open an environment as possible.

Any non-essential external meetings to cancelled and alternate arrangements made


Key principles for preventing the spread of COVID-19 in community health care settings include

 · Adherence to standard precautions with all individuals at all times

· Early identification of potential cases

 · Promotion of respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette

· Provision of up to date information about the virus (available from www.hpsc.ie)

· Avoiding unnecessary direct physical contact (such as undertaking a physical examination) with individuals who may be infected

· Avoiding exposures to respiratory secretions

· Liaison with local public health specialists

How to safely work in WALK services

It is important that you do so safely and in a way that minimises the risk of infection to people that use our services and other Staff. Please follow this simple guidance:

  • Hand washing - It is important that you wash your hands thoroughly before coming to WALK services, and regularly whilst you are in WALK services. Please make sure you wash your hands for a minimum or 20 seconds, using either hot water and soap or 60% alcohol sanitiser gel. The HSE has a video guide to effective handwashing, which you can see https://twitter.com/HSELive/status/1234084972149035009/video/1

Protecting people we support and Staff

Please be assured that WALK are following the advice of the HSE, and robust contingency plans are in place in the event of a coronavirus outbreak at one of our services.

Staff will continue to take universal infection control precautions to manage the risks in our services to safeguard the health and well-being of people we support and staff. Our clinical team will support staff to refresh their infection control and hand washing awareness, and alcohol handwash is available in each service (where possible). Posters to guide the practice of handwashing and the use of hand gel for all staff and people we support should be displayed in all services. Please follow link of HSE guide of preventing the spread of infection. https://youtu.be/H_NJvMSEhN0

All Team Coordinators, Team Leaders and staff have been informed of the steps to take to help prevent the spread of infection. A helpline is available for any concerns or queries and regular communications are in place to ensure the latest guidance is available to each service.

Our Senior Management Team are regularly reviewing guidance and contingency plans will develop in response to the evolving situation. The SMT will continue to meet regularly and action all appropriate advice from HSE to keep WALK operating within the guidance given.

WALK are working to ensure that people we support remain as unaffected as possible and will continue to review staffing contingency plans so we can continue to deliver the care people we support expect from us.

Important Links

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Infection Control

https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/guidance/infectionpreventionandcontrolguidance/Interim%20IPC%20guidance%20non%20acute%20healthcare%20settings%20v1.0%2010-03-2020.pdf

Dentists and other health care staff who routinely wear facemasks, due to the nature of their work and the likelihood of exposure to secretions should continue to wear their usual personal protective equipment. Outside of these scenarios there is no need to wear a surgical mask if the person has no symptoms.

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WALK is a registered Charity. Charity number is CHY 10777. Companies Registration Number 322400. Registered Charity Number (CRA Number) 20028008
Accredited by: Trusted Charity
WALK is the trading name for Walkinstown Association for People with an Intellectual Disability Limited. All rights reserved. © WALK 2015
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