Internal FAQ

Company FAQ

Please use these FAQs as a reference guide for your questions and concerns regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19).  This resource will be updated periodically, as more information becomes available and as leadership decisions are made for Discovery Behavioral Health.  If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact the COVID-19 Response Team at HealthAlert@discoverybh.com.  We appreciate your cooperation during this Discovery Behavioral Health initiative.  – COVID-19 Response Team

You can reference the DBH Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Prevention, Management & Response Plan Policy (IC-013) in Zavanta under Infection Control.

Updated 03/29/2021

General Information

What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause a range of illness from the common cold to severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

In December 2019, a new kind of coronaviruses, now renamed COVID-19, was identified as the cause of various cases of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubel Province of China. It has become a concern because the origin and the exact conditions of its spreading are still unknown.

On February 12, the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19.

How is the virus spread?

  • Droplets sprayed by affected individuals, contact with patient respiratory secretions, contaminated surfaces and equipment. Transmission seem to occur when symptoms are the worst e.g. fever and cough presenting in person.
  • People are still considered to be most contagious when showing symptoms.

Who is High Risk for complications of the virus?

  • CDC mentions older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.  
  • Those at higher risk include: 
    • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
    • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma 
    • People who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment
    • People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index [IBM] > 40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled (e.g. diabetes, renal failure, liver disease, etc.) 
    • People who are pregnant

Do clients need to sit 6 feet apart?

  • We are following the CDC’s social distancing guidelines and asking all staff and client to be 6 feet apart for meals and groups. If client choose to be closer than 6 feet to engage in games to build a sense of community among residents this is acceptable, we do ask that client wear a cloth face coving during this time.
  • We need to do our best to meet CDC guidelines for social distancing. At times it may be difficult to manage in especially during meals and groups. We encourage you to get creative and be flexible in these situations. Consider alternating meal and snack times for clients, using large spaces for groups and snacks such as the milieu or outdoor spaces (confidentiality and weather permitting)

What if a reporter calls me and asked about what our company is doing during the COVID crisis, programming or other questions?

  • Direct all calls to Sandra Sellani in Marketing at 949.463.8683 or ssellani@discoverybh.com.  Do not attempt to answer any questions from the media as we strive to have  unified voice for our company and to send out consistent messaging that protects our brand.

What are droplet precautions and when are they used?

  •  Droplet precautions are a way to protect people from other illnesses. They are used when a client is presenting with an illness that can be spread through droplets.

What is included in droplet precautions?

  • Face mask, eye protection, gloves and gown upon entry to the room.  Gloves and gown should be disposed of in the trash can inside the door of the room.

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of the virus?

  • Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure: Fever (over 100.4), Cough, Shortness of Breath, Chills, Repeated shaking with chills, Muscle Pain, Headache, Sore Throat, New loss of Taste or Smell
  • All staff and clients who interacted with client need to be monitored for signs of illness including fever and cough.
  • Complete risk event notification and notify HealthAlert@discoverybh.com

What if I have some symptoms, but not all?

  • At this time we are asking any staff who are stick to stay home.  Contact your supervisor and the COVID-19 Response Team at HealthAlert@discoverybh.com.  
  • Refer to the COVID-19 Response Flow Charts under DBH Resources for further guidance.

What if I’m exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms?

  • First, call your primary care physician’s office and inform them that you are a healthcare worker and the type of facility you work at (ED/MH/SUD & OP/RTC). 
  • If you work in a 24-hour care facility, this will give you testing priority if determined by a healthcare provider.    
  • Follow instructions from your healthcare provider, update your supervisor, and the COVID-19 Response Team at HealthAlert@discoverybh.com
  • Refer to the COVID-19 Response Flow Charts under DBH Resources for further guidance. 

Prevention

What can we doing to help slow/stop the spread of the virus?

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after entering the facility, blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Please refer to the Hand Washing Hygiene Policy (Zavanta).
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

I cannot find Clorox wipes to purchase for cleaning. What should I do?

  • The CDC has updated cleaning recommendations to include any household cleaners. You can also make your own solution mixing household bleach and water in a 1:10 ratio. If using this cleaning solution, you will need to be changed the solution every 4 hours to prevent it from becoming contaminated.
    • Example: 1 cup of bleach mixed with 10 cups of water.

How frequent should cleanings be performed?

  • Cleaning frequencies vary depending on the specific areas within the facility and how often certain
    surfaces and items are used. Please reference the COVID-19 Preventative Cleaning Protocol (IC-016) in Zavanta.

How should we handle clients/ staff who are high risk for serious health effects related to the virus?

  • Our best course of action is to follow the recommendations of their primary care physician. If a client or staff member is being advised to stay home and avoid public places by their primary care physician due to being high risk, reach out to your leadership team for guidance as we will evaluate our options on a case by case basis.

Do we need to remove items that are community use for DBT skills?

  • No, these items should be added to the list of items for enhanced environmental cleaning. You can encourage clients to use other coping skill first, but we need to ensure clients have access to DBT skills when they need them. In the OP setting you can move the skills to the staff office so that staff can clean them in between each client use.

What if we’re running low on PPE?

  • Limited PPE supplies are impacting all healthcare organizations. DBH is monitoring PPE supplies and placing orders as they become available.  If your facility is running low on supplies, contact the COVID-19 Response Team at HealthAlert@discoverybh.com.
  • Due to the limited supply, staff should use one mask per shift as suggested by the CDC. CDC also mentions that masks can be used/worn by the same person on multiple days if supply is low, so long as a mask is not physically dirty or saturated with secretions.
  • If staff have their own reusable mask (e.g. cloth material) you can use these during shifts as long as they are washed between shifts.

Do patients / staff need to wear face coverings?

  • Per CDC recommendations, the company is strongly recommending staff and patients to wear facemasks/coverings on an extended basis. The extended basis is the practice of wearing the same facemasks/covering for repeated close contact encounters with others, without removing the facemasks/coverings between encounters.
  • We recommend that everyone follow everyday prevention practices:
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning product.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol.
  • Please be aware that some states have specific requirements regarding facemasks/coverings.
  • For more detailed guidance, please refer to the COVID-19 Face Mask Donning & Doffing Protocol (IC-017) in Zavanta

Do we have to screen all employee/vendors before entering the facility?

  • Yes. Due to the important protection that screening can provide in preventing the spread of COVID-19, all company facilities will utilize the screen for all employees/vendors entering the facility for every shift effective immediately until further notice. This is essential in protecting patients who currently reside in residential treatment facilities, in addition to all employees reporting to work in company facilities.
  • Please refer to the Employee/Vendor COVID-19 Screen Procedure Policy (IC-015) in Zavanta.

Should we be social distancing at the facility?

  • Yes. Social distancing is a public health safety intervention used to reduce the likelihood of transmitting communicable diseases that involves minimizing exposure to infected individuals by avoiding large public gathering venues, adhering to spacing requirements in the workplace, and following proper personal hygiene practices.
  • Please refer to the Social Distancing for Infection Prevention Policy (IC-014) in Zavanta.

How do we handle transportation for patient outings?

  • It is optimal if transportation of multiple patients can allow for social distancing of at least 6 feet inside the vehicle.
  • In the event that social distancing is not possible inside the vehicle, all riders should wear a face mask/covering.

Exposure

What should I do if a client who has previously admitted to RTC is now presenting with COVID-19 symptoms?

  • If a patient in the facility is presenting with symptoms and is positively screened to be at risk for COVID-19 (Staff performing screening and the affected patient should wear a mask if available):
    • Take patient to local urgent care or contact facility physician for Influenza test.
    • If patient tests positive for flu, follow flu protocol (Policy IC-010) and refer to the COVID-19 Response Flow Charts under DBH Resources. 
    • If patient is negative for flu, staff member should immediately call Program Director or on-call clinician and let them know.  

If a client is coughing and not using proper cough etiquette, do we need to worry about transmission?

  • Please remind and encourage all clients within the facility to use proper couch etiquette. If inadvertent coughing occurs do not assume it is related to COVID-19 unless the person is displaying other symptoms associated with the virus such as fever, muscle weakness etc. If a client is displaying these symptoms, they should not be in OP/PHP programing and should be isolated if in RTC setting.

What if an OP client suspects they’ve been exposed to COVID-19 and wants to return for treatment?

  • We would like to encourage our clients to operate based on fact and if they have exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19, they should not attend programming until cleared. If they have not been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus, they are free to attend programming if they are free of symptoms.
  • Refer to the COVID-19 Response Flow Charts under DBH Resources for further guidance. 

What if a discharged patient later turns out to be positive for COVID-19?

    • As soon as this information is available, inform your supervisor and contact the COVID-19 Response Team at HealthAlert@discoverybh.com.  Include detailed information that includes: 
      • The date the patient was last in the facility
      • If the patient was exhibiting any symptoms at the time 
      • If the patient exhibited any symptoms and days prior to the last date they were at the facility 

    The information provided may require additional follow-up information in which the COVID-19 Response Team will request additional information. 

State, Local Community, & Payers

My state has declared a state of emergency related to COVID-19 what should I do?

  • When states declare a state of emergency it is a move to free up financial resources to improve response times to an event. A state of emergency does not mean we need to change any operating procedures.
  • If you have questions or concerns about operations, please contact your operations leadership.  

Notify HealthAlert@discoverybh.com for further guidance. 

What if there is a shelter-in-place order?

  • There are several locations where a shelter-in-place order has been placed as a safety and prevention measure.  However, there are exceptions to essential services in which healthcare, including behavioral health, services apply.  We must continue to provide behavioral health services to meet the needs of our communities.  
  • If you have questions or concerns regarding a shelter-in-place order in your community, please consult with your operations leadership for further guidance.  
  • If you have any staffing or personnel concerns, please contact the Human Resources department. 

Schools around us are closing/shutting down, do we need to as well?

  • Our facilities are necessary to the numerous individuals that are in treatment today.  In addition, we must be available to those seeking treatment due to being adversely impacted by the Pandemic and need facilities, such as ours, to help support them and their families through this crisis.  The need to close facilities will be made on a case by case basis by the leadership team.

Human Resources

Am I still able to request for vacations (PTO)?

  • Any request for vacation/PTO will still follow the same protocol in which your supervisor must approve. Supervisor’s will ensure the programs are appropriately staffed during each shift.  Please refer to the DBH Employee Manual (Zavanta).
  • If you already have approval for PTO and have plans to travel overseas, please be aware of the U.S. travel advisory. 
  • The U.S. State Department has raised its travel advisory worldwide to Level 4: Do Not Travel.  This is the highest level due to the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Level 4 advisory instructs U.S. citizens not to travel abroad and requires that Americans who are overseas to immediately return to the U.S. or prepare to remain abroad for an indefinite period.    

Am I still able to work from home?

  • DBH is a healthcare organization that provides behavioral health services to our clients. Staff who are not currently authorized to work from home are still required to report to their assigned facilities during operations as scheduled.  Requests to work from home will be authorized on a case-by-case basis with approval from your supervisor and leadership.

What if a staff member is sick and we’re unable to get coverage?

  • If a staff member is sick they should not report to work. Please refer to the DBH Employee Manual (Zavanta).  If staffing is impacted, coordinate with your operations team for appropriate coverage.

I have been requested by management to isolate at home for a period of time due to possible (or confirmed) COVID-19 exposure. Will I be paid during that period?

  • While some types of jobs can be conducted from home on a temporary basis, we recognize that it is not an option for others.
    • If your role has been confirmed by your manager as one that can be conducted from home, you should work from home during the specified period.
    • If your role cannot be performed at home, you should remain at home for the specified period.  During that period, you can elect to use your accrued vacation and/or sick pay (if any). If you have exhausted your vacation and/or sick pay, depending on the state you are in, you may qualify for state disability payments and/or unemployment insurance payments.  Please contact HR at 855-869-7890 Monday – Friday, 7am-5pm PT to learn more about what options are available to you.

What other policies do I need to be aware of if I am asked to work from home?

Regardless of why you’re working from home, your workspace is an extension of your DBH workspace. As such, you are subject to the company’s Code of Conduct and other policies and guidelines while working at home. Below are some basics to follow: 

  • To the extent possible, work from a private location in your home that is appropriate for conducting business with clients and colleagues (e.g. Minimize background noise, maintain confidentiality of work information, etc.)
  • Perform your duties in a professional manner at all times. Modify your routines to be as accessible as possible to your manager, clients and coworkers through telephone, email, RingCentral and other DBH tools that may be available.
  • Only use company approved communication channels for work.
  • Do not forward work-related emails or content to personal email address for any reasons (including printing). 
  • Protect the confidentiality and integrity of all DBH information and documentation; securely shred any DBH document unless you’re required to retain it.
  • Company-supplied equipment is for company business only; protect DPM equipment/supplies from theft, damage, cyberattack, and misuse. 
  • Please refer to the Telecommuting Agreement and the Cell Phone and Computer Expense Reimbursement Agreement for questions.

I have been asked by management to work from home for a period of time due to possible (or confirmed) COVID-19 exposure. How should I track my work time during this period?

If your manager has confirmed that your role is one that can be conducted from home during this period, then:

    • Track your time worked by clocking in and out just as you would normally do at the office.
    • Take at least a 30-minute meal period and two 10-minute rest breaks near the middle of the first and second half of your shift as you normally do.
    • Be just as engaged in your work activity at home as would otherwise at the office each day. Your manager will continue to monitor your productivity and work product each day.
    • If RingCentral is available to you, please keep it open and ready to receive calls and texts throughout the day.  Effective communication will be key to the success of this telecommuting experience.
    • Please discuss overtime needs with your manager prior to working overtime.

Additional Teleworker Safety Dos and Don’ts

  • Use a sturdy chair that supports your back.  Avoid soft chairs and couches for extended periods.
  • Adjust seat height so that elbows are at a 90-degree angle and wrists are horizontal to the keyboard.
  • Sit on a pillow, if needed, to get to this position
  • Place feet flat on the floor – or place something under your feet if you can’t reach the floor without one.
  • Place a small pillow behind your back to keep the curvature of the spine.
  • Use an external mouse and set up paperwork to limit extensive reaching.
  • Alternate between standing and sitting at least once per hour
  • Take micro breaks to stretch and direct eyes away from your computer screen
  • Be careful not to overload electrical outlets
  • Be aware of extension cords and other tripping risks
  • Keep your laptop/desktop secure during after-hours period (lock them up to avoid theft)
  • If using a laptop, consider using an external keyboard and raising the laptop so that the top of the viewing screen is aligned with your line of sight.

I participate in the health care FSA. I heard that I can now get reimbursed for over-the-counter drugs. Is that true?

Yes.  The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) allows health FSAs to now reimburse you for over-the-counter drugs and other medicine purchased without a prescription after December 31, 2019.  This is a permanent change.

This pandemic is making me feel stressed and anxious. Are there any resources available to help me?

The physical and emotional health and wellbeing of our employees are always our top priority. At any time if you are experiencing stress or anxiety, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to assist. Please call the EAP provided through Anthem at (888) 209-7840. You may also obtain their online resources at www.resourceadvisorCA.anthem.com. Website password: ResourceAdvisor

Admissions

Are we screening potential new admission before they arrive to the facility?

  • Potential new admissions are pre-screened upon initial contact with our admissions team and again prior to their scheduled arrival to the facility.  New admissions should also be screened at the door using the visitor screening tool, “Visitor Screening for Coronavirus (COVID-19)”.
  • We are encouraging all new admission to wear a cloth face covering for 14 days following admission to a facility.

Can we offer virtual programing to those who are high risk for complications of the virus?

  • Virtual programming is available for mostly outpatient facilities.
  • Consult with your leadership to identify if and/or when your program is scheduled for virtual programming.

Virtual Programming

Is there a hard timeline for moving to virtual programing or shutting down PHP locations?

  • Program closures will be determined by leadership if needed. This is a new and developing situation and program operations are constantly evaluated as it evolves. Consult with your leadership to identify if and/or when your program is scheduled for virtual programming.

Can we offer virtual programing to those who are high risk for complications of the virus?

  • Virtual programming is available for mostly outpatient facilities.
  • Consult with your leadership to identify if and/or when your program is scheduled for virtual programming.

Travel

Is DBH placing a travel ban on outreach/clinical?

  • Travel may be limited depending on state and local orders.   Consult with your leadership for further guidance.  

What if I’ve already booked my room and board and I need to cancel?

  • If it’s appropriate to cancel your travel plans, all cancellations must be done through the same agency they were booked from: Concur or Travel Trust.  Please refer to the Travel and Expense Policy (Zavanta).

If I have the option to use zoom conferencing instead of traveling, which should I choose?

  • Travel may be limited depending on state and local orders.   If you can make arrangements to attend/present a meeting via zoom, this is the preferred method.  We have the technology that allows for remote conferencing; adjust accordingly as necessary.

What is the risk of getting the virus on an airplane?

  • Because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes, most viruses and other germs do not spread easily. Although the risk of infection on an airplane is low, try to avoid contact with sick passengers, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands, and wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Do I need to wear a facemask while traveling?

  • In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, CDC recommends that everyone wear a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth when in the community setting, including during travel if they must travel. This as an additional public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in addition to (not instead of) social distancing, frequent hand cleaning and other everyday preventive actions. A cloth face covering is not intended to protect the wearer but may prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others. This would be especially important in the event that someone is infected but does not have symptoms. Medical masks and N-95 respirators are still reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

What about international traveling?

  • The U.S. State Department has raised its travel advisory worldwide to Level 4: Do Not Travel.  This is the highest level due to the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Level 4 advisory instructs U.S. citizens not to travel abroad and requires that Americans who are overseas to immediately return to the U.S. or prepare to remain abroad for an indefinite period. 

DBH Resources

COVID-19 Response Flow Charts

The flow charts in this document provide guidance on specific scenarios that include how to appropriately respond and/or who to contact. These specific topic areas are listed below.

  • Staff Symptoms
  • Patient Symptoms
  • Staff’s Household Member Symptoms or Confirmed COVID-19
  • Patient’s Household Member Symptoms or Confirmed COVI-19
  • Staff Directly Exposed to COVID-19 in the Community
  • Patient Directly Exposed to COVID-19 in the Facility
  • Staff exposed to another individual who was exposed to COVID-19
  • Patient exposed to another individual who has exposed to COVID-19
  • Staffing
  • Utilization Review
  • Asymptomatic Patient Testing for COVID-19
  • Asymptomatic Staff Testing for COVID-19
  • Symptomatic Patient Testing for COVID-19
  • Symptomatic Staff Testing for COVID-19
  • Positive Contact Tracing

Please Note: For Outpatient programs, please refer to the patient/staff screening forms for guidance.

Click Here: COVID-19 Response Flow Charts.v12 (Updated 03/29/2021)

Click Here: COVID-19 Testing Flow Charts .v10 (Updated 03/31/2021)

CLICK HERE: COVID-19 Positive Contact Tracing Flow Charts.v5 (Updated 11/9/2020)

Disclaimer: Flow chart information may be adjusted in alignment with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and/or the Department of Public Health.   

In addition to these responses, please also reference the FAQs. If you have further questions or concerns, please contact the COVID-19 Response Team at HealthAlert@discoverybh.com.


New COVID-19 Incident Reporting Types
 

To collect accurate incident reporting data, there are new COVID-19 Incident Reporting types.  Please submit any previous incidents that apply and continue to submit new incidents accordingly.  If you have not submitted previous cases, please do so and include the date of when it occurred.  

CLICK HERE: New COVID-19 Incident Reporting Types

  • ED & MH programs – The COVID-19 incident types have been added to the Risk Event Notification Form (Google Forms)
  • SUD programs, please download and use the DBH COVID-19 Incident Reporting Form below. Once completed please submit this form to your program leadership and the COVID-19 Response Team at HealthAlert@discoverybh.com.

CLICK HERE: DOWNLOAD DBH COVID-19 INCIDENT REPORTING FORM

Additional Resources

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

 

  • CDC’s FAQs

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html

  • Daily Life & Coping

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/index.html

  • CDC & Apple | COVID-19 Screening Tool

https://www.apple.com/covid19/

  • Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fprepare%2Fdisinfecting-building-facility.html

  • Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/disinfecting-your-home.html

  • How to Protect Yourselves

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fabout%2Fprevention-treatment.html

 

  • Symptoms & Testing

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/index.html

 

  • Symptoms

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html

 

  • How to Stop the Spread of Germs

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/stop-the-spread-of-germs.pdf

 

  • Travel.State.Gov (U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affair) 

https://step.state.gov/

 

*IMPORTANT NOTICE*

Do not discriminate against any patients, visitors, guests, staff members or vendors.    All DBH staff are required to adhere to all company policies and procedures.  More specifically, please reference all details outlined in the following policies (Zavanta):

 

  • DBH Code of Conduct
  • Employment Law & Policies
  • Environment of Safety and Respect
  • Healthcare Laws, Regulations & Requirements
  • Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment (DBH Employee Handbook)
  • Zero Tolerance Policy
Patient, Family & Staff Safety is Our Priority: COVID-19Update