Home Care Update

Dear Member,

Earlier today we received the following Home Support Screening Protocols. As well these protocols have been shared with your employer.

The following protocols have been established to support a consistent approach to COVID-19 screening for home support service delivery across Nova Scotia. The protocols address screening of clients and other people in the home and guide the identification of COVID-19 related risks to inform necessary safety precautions that enable service delivery.

The protocols align with guidance and direction provided by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Department of Health & Wellness, NSHA Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC), and NSHA Occupational Health & Wellness. In particular, the protocols follow the NSHA IPAC Guidelines for Home & Community Care. If there is subsequent direction from these authorities after the release of these protocols that vary from the practices outlined within this document, they shall supersede and these protocols will be updated as necessary.



  1. COVID-19 screening will be completed for the client and anyone living in the home or who will be present during the home visit.

1.1.       The screening criteria is the same for each person in the home.

1.2.       Anyone else in the home will be asked to remain in another room during the home visit, regardless of the results of the COVID-19 screening unless their presence is necessary to support the care.


  1. Screening will follow the Covid-19 Screening Guide for Use in Home Support Service Delivery.


Screening BEFORE Service

  1. If the NSHA Care Coordinator makes a home visit (i.e. conducts an in-person assessment), they will conduct COVID-19 screening.

3.1.       They will document in SEAscape that the screening was conducted.

3.1.1.    Documentation will occur in the Client Safety Concerns and Worker Safety Concerns sections on the Client Overview page and in the presenting situation section of the service plan.

3.1.2.    If no COVID-19 related risk is identified, documentation will be “No COVID risk identified on [date]”.


  1. If the NSHA Care Coordinator does not make a home visit, they will not conduct COVID-19 screening unless the client discloses COVID-19 symptoms or requests to be screened.

Note: This measure reduces duplication of questions for clients, supports the timeliest screening possible closer to service delivery, and avoids added angst or concern of the client.


  1. The Care Coordinator will explain to the client that the home support agency will conduct COVID-19 screening before service starts as well as for each visit.


  1. The home support agency staff person completing the client intake/admission process will complete COVID-19 screening.

6.1.       The agency will conduct screening even if the NSHA Care Coordinator also conducted screening.


POINT OF CARE Risk Screening

  1. The home support worker will call each client before their home visit to complete screening, including clients who receive multiple visits per day.

7.1.       If there are barriers to completing a call to the client before the visit, the home support worker will complete screening at the doorway and at a 2 meter distance.


  1. In addition to providing information to the client about what to do if they are feeling unwell, the home support worker will explain the purpose of the screening and use of any personal protective equipment (PPE) items used (used by the worker or what the client may be asked to use).



  1. If the home support agency identifies through screening that a client or someone in their home has or is suspected to have COVID-19, the agency will call the Care Coordinator immediately to notify them and/or if the client is choosing to cancel service.

9.1.       The verbal notification will be followed up with a Progress Report.

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