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RCORP - Rural Center of Excellence on SUD Prevention

Staff Safety Precautions During the COVID-19 Crisis

Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs) are using social distancing to reduce possible exposure to coronavirus. This includes reducing the number of people at a facility at one time and assessing patient/staff health:
  • Using telemedicine (phone or video) for appointments if possible
  • Scheduling medication-dispensing times
  • Expanding take-home medications when appropriate
  • Implementing curbside/alternative locations for medication dispensing
  • Screening clients for symptoms by phone before appointments and outside entrance to facility (and taking temperatures)
  • Screening staff regularly and self-monitoring
OTPs are also taking steps in these areas:
Handwashing and cleaning procedures
  • Washing hands often
  • Ensuring supply of soap, towels/hand dryers
  • Posting handwashing notices
  • Placing hand sanitizer throughout the facility
  • Regular deep cleaning of the facility
  • Ensuring supply of cleaning products
  • Cleaning tables, counters, and other surfaces often
  • Avoiding sharing of pens
  • Coughing/sneezing into elbow
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Checking with local and state regulatory authorities and CDC for guidance about PPE
Physical barriers and isolation space
  • Transparent barrier at reception
  • Identifying a room for symptomatic patients or staff be isolated, with closed door if possible, for medical evaluation and/or opioid-use-disorder treatment
Making space, sticking together
  • Staying 6-feet apart from others as much as possible
  • Supporting each other from a distance and from behind face masks
  • Being a role model for others—actions speak louder than words
  • Providing referrals for behavioral health or psychological first aid to patients or staff who are clearly struggling

Please refer to federal, state, and local regulatory agencies’ guidance for the most up-to-date information.