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COVID-19 Terms: Difference Between Federal, State & Common Sense Measures

Our nation’s leaders are taking steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by issuing local, state, and federal measures. It’s important for the healthcare industry to understand what’s being recommended to protect and serve residents and patients. To that end, HealthPRO Heritage summarizes the differences between quarantine, isolation, shelter in place, and stay at home orders + what these measures mean for staff and patients.

Those who may have been exposed to COVID-19 may volunteer or be required to self-quarantine in a contained environment until they are medically cleared. Federal, state, and local governments can require quarantines via public health orders. (Please note: COVID-19 is a federally quarantinable communicable disease as set forth in Executive Order 13295 as amended by Executive Order 13375 and 13674.)

Isolation Measures
Those with a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19 are to self-isolate and keep away from other people as much as possible. Isolation for public health purposes may be voluntary or compelled by federal, state or local public health order. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), those in isolation should use a separate bathroom, wear a face mask when around others, refrain from sharing household items, and maintain contact with their health provider. Patients who are hospitalized and have COVID-19 will remain in Isolation Units.

Shelter in Place
Local governments have issued “shelter in place” orders, meaning people are to stay at home as much as possible with permissible outings to work or to obtain food, medical care, or other essentials. Healthcare professionals (including therapists), police, firefighters, and other essential service providers are still expected to go to work (as are grocery store clerks and gas station attendants). Going outside for a walk or exercise is allowed, and even encouraged, but people should maintain 6 feet apart from others.

Stay-at-Home Orders
After multiple counties across California ordered their residents to shelter in place, the state issued stay-at-home orders "until further notice.” This was the first executive order of its kind in response to COVID-19, but New York, Connecticut, Illinois, Ohio, Louisiana, and Delaware have since followed suit in ordering all non-essential employees to remain at home. Again, people should only go out to get food, gas or other essentials. Healthcare professionals (including therapists), police, firefighters, and other essential service providers are expected to go to work (as are grocery store clerks and gas station attendants).

Please refer to CDC guidance here for more information. 

Therapy is Essential: HealthPRO Heritage’s Approach
Learn more about therapists being included on the list of “essential” healthcare workers here.

HealthPRO Heritage is grateful for our talented and dedicated staff and their continued diligence in caring for patients and supporting our customers through this challenging time. 

By delivering physician-ordered, medically necessary services, our therapists play a key role in the fight to contain and beat COVID-19. Improving the functional status of patients in skilled nursing sites allows them to safely transition to home or a residential community, freeing up much needed resources for hospitals looking to discharge patients sooner. Similarly, wellness, fall prevention, and other essential services in assisted and independent living communities mitigates hospitalization risk for residents and supports good outcomes as they remain in their communities. Professionals in our home health and pediatric divisions also continue to provide critical services to adults and children with needs.  

From John Heller, CEO, HealthPRO Heritage:
“We thank you all for your commitment to your profession, the patients and partners you support and for the key role you are playing in the broader social effort to win this battle.” Click here to read Mr. Heller’s letter to HealthPRO Heritage employees.


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Tags: COVID-19, Coronavirus, Essential