This guidance is based on what is currently known about the transmission and
severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The California Department of
Public Health (CDPH), will update this guidance as needed and as additional
information becomes available.
This document is intended to be statewide guidance to help both individuals
and caregivers inform their decision making. Decisions by individuals and
caregivers should be determined by the specific circumstances in local
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a novel virus that has been spreading
worldwide. Community-acquired cases have now been confirmed in California.
We are gaining more understanding of COVID-19’s epidemiology, clinical
course, immunogenicity, and other factors as time progresses, and the situation
is changing daily. CDPH is in the process of monitoring COVID-19, conducting
testing with local and federal partners, and providing guidance and resources
to prevent, detect and respond to the occurrence of COVID-19 cases in
At this time, community transmission of COVID-19 has occurred in California.
Individuals with Access and Functional Needs should prepare for possible
impacts of COVID-19 and take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19
as well as other infectious diseases, including influenza and gastroenteritis.
The complete clinical picture with regard to COVID-19 is not fully understood.
Reported illnesses have ranged from asymptomatic to severe, including illness
resulting in death. Older people and people with certain underlying health
conditions including heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes, for example,
seem to be at greater risk of serious illness.
Individual & Caregiver Prevention Measures
Individuals and caregivers can take steps now to slow the spread of respiratory
infectious diseases, including COVID-19. CDPH recommends implementing the
- Review and update your personal emergency plan. A Personal Emergency Plan for people with Access and Functional Needs is
available on the California Health and Human Services Agency website.
- Stay home when sick.
- If you have an elevated temperature, remain at home until fever
has been gone for at least 24 hours without the use of feverreducing medicines such as acetaminophen.
- Seek immediate medical care if symptoms become more severe,
e.g., high feveror difficulty breathing.
- Use “respiratory/cough etiquette”.
- Cover cough with a tissue or sleeve. See CDC’s Cover Your Cough page for multilingual posters and flyers, posted at the bottom of the
- Provide adequate supplies within easy reach, including tissues and
no-touch trash cans.
- Wear a facemask if you are sick and when you are around other
people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a
healthcare provider’s office.
- Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.
- Encourage hand washing by individual, caregivers, family, and
- Provide hand sanitizers containing at least 60% alcohol to
supplement hand washing.
- Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces.
- Maintenance of Durable Medical Equipment.
- Make sure to clean medical supplies and equipment frequently and
in accordance with product manufacturer guidance.
- Routine cleaning of high-touch surfaces.
- Examples: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets,
- Clean with household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants
that are appropriate for the surface, following label instructions.
Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning
product including precautions you should take when applying the
product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good
ventilation during use of the product.
- Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection recommendations can be
found on CDC’s website.
- See CDC’s web page on Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 for more guidance regarding the prevention of disease in an
individual’s home, residential communities and adult day centers.
- Make sure you have access to the following entities:
- Any 24/7 health lines provided by your health providers and health
- Specialty health care providers if needed.
- Community-based organizations, transportation providers, health
plans, care coordinators, nurse hotlines, telehealth services, etc.
should you need assistance.
- Necessary food and supplies delivery.
- Develop plans with service providers who make regular home visits to
minimize exposure(personal assistant, attendant services, home health,
hospice, independent living counselors, etc.).
- Consider the use of phone check-ins, video chat check-ins, use of
neighbors for health and safety checks to minimize exposure.
- Understand the emergency plans of facilities visited on a daily or regular
basis, such as dialysis centers, blood treatment centers, or chemo and
other infusion therapy sites.
Individuals and Caregivers with Staff
Ensure your employees are prepared and are taking all necessary precautions.
This includes American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters, personal care
assistants, and anyone else regularly providing assistance to an individual.
Resources are available.
- Employees with a fever should not work.
- Facility employees who are ill should be excluded from work for at least
24 hours after a fever is resolved without antipyretics and follow federal
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and/or local health department guidelines for returning to work.
- Once facility employees return to work, reinforce the importance of
performing frequent hand hygiene as a standard precaution.
- Recommend excluding employees, students, and volunteers who are
not critical to providing care from working in areas experiencing
outbreaks of COVID-19.
The comprehensive guidance from the CDC, Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Homes and Residential Communities, applies to all
who anticipate close contact with persons with possible or confirmed COVID-19
in the course of their work. This guidance discusses prevention steps for:
- People with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 (including persons under
investigation) who do not need to be hospitalized.
- People with confirmed COVID-19 who were hospitalized and determined
to be medically stable to go home.
- Recommended precautions for household members, intimate partners,
and caregivers in a nonhealthcare setting.
Adult Day Programs and Adult Day Health Programs
Prevent the introduction of respiratory germs INTO facilities.
- Limit visitors to the facility by not allowing those with symptoms of fever
and/or respiratory infection.
- Limit visitors to the facility by not allowing those who have a travel history
over the course of the last 14 days to an area identified by the CDC as
Level 3 Travel Health Notice (see Evaluating and Reporting Persons Under Investigation for an updated list of areas).
- Recommend excluding those who have been in close contact with
someone diagnosed with COVID-19 from the facility for 14 days from the
day of their last exposure.
- Ensure sick leave policies allow employees to stay home if they have
symptoms of respiratory infection.
- Employees with any fever and/or respiratory infection symptoms should
not be at work.
- Consider screening employees for respiratory infection symptoms before
they start their shift.
Prevent the spread of respiratory germs WITHIN facilities.
- Keep clients and employees informed.
- Describe what actions the facility is taking to protect them,
including answering their questions and explaining what they can
do to protect themselves and their fellow residents.
- Designate a time to meet with your staff to educate them on COVID-19
and what they may need to do to prepare. The following may be useful
resources to share information about COVID-19:
- Minimize congregate living activities and outside programming.
- Ensure that residents are eating their meals in their rooms instead of
in congregate settings.
- Minimize the number of congregate activities especially if your
county has community-transmission cases.
Originally Published on March 9, 2020