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Due to the recent and rapid increase COVID infections in our communities, we have updated our policies to maximize patient and employee safety. Click here for more info.

Preventing COVID-19

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Working together to reduce the risk to patients and staff

COVID-19 is a new form of flu. Because it’s new, few people have developed immunity from the virus that causes COVID-19. This virus easily spreads and is a serious concern for everyone, but especially for people who are older and/or live with chronic illness such as CKD and diabetes. 

There are several important things that all of us can do to reduce exposure to the COVID-19 virus as we wait for scientists to develop more treatments and for vaccines to be widely distributed.

One thing that’s essential to know is that COVID-19 must not stop you from getting the dialysis treatment your doctor has ordered. You’re at much higher risk for illness if you miss treatment.

Call your care team if you have questions, concerns, or something that’s making it difficult for you to get treatment. We do whatever we can to help you get the treatment you need.

 

Reducing COVID-19 infection

Staying at home

  • Stay at home when you’re not at your Satellite Healthcare/WellBound center, except for essential medical appointments and important errands.
  • If possible, use grocery delivery services or ask someone to shop for you and leave the bags at the door. If you must go yourself, check the store for special hours reserved for people  60 years or older. Try to shop for at least a week’s worth of food at a time.
  • Wash your hands many times a day with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.
  • Take your medications as prescribed.
  • Follow your dialysis eating and drinking plan. Call your dietitian if you have any questions.
  • Avoid/greatly reduce visitors. If you must have visitors, everyone should wear a mask and, if possible, stay 6 feet apart.

Going to dialysis appointments

  • If you have a new fever, cough, or trouble breathing, call your center BEFORE coming to your appointment. No matter how you feel, we’ll  continue to make sure you get treatment.
  • Please ask friends and family to stay outside the center during this time to reduce the number of people in the center and reduce risk of exposure for everyone.
  • Each day, everyone going into the treatment area completes a wellness check in the lobby. This includes a few questions and might involve taking your temperature or another simple vital sign check.
  • You must wear a mask when you’re at the center. Be sure it covers your mouth even when you’re speaking. 
  • Staff members treating people with flu symptoms wear extra protective equipment to keep everyone safe.
  • Feel confident that your center is being cleaned and disinfected very often throughout the day.

Do not miss dialysis treatment

  • Dialysis is considered by all government agencies to be an essential service because it’s life sustaining treatment. 
  • Don’t miss dialysis treatments. When you miss treatments, you put yourself at greater risk of illness.
  • Our centers are following Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines to minimize the risk of COVID-19 spread.
  • If you have any trouble coming to treatment/dialysis care appointments for any reason, call your center immediately. 

Complete and carry this treatment authorization form if your community is telling people to stay indoors.
COVID prevention for dialysis

Your mask protects you and others

You can get COVID if the air around you has the virus in it. If you and everyone you can see around you wears a mask, the risk of you getting infected or infecting others is much less. Wear a mask for your safety and for the safety of others. We’re all in this together.

How to properly wear your mask

Jug, a Satellite patient care leader, walks you through how and why to properly wear a mask.

Mask wearing made fun

Meet employees from across Satellite as they get on their feet and dance to this parody of a popular song.

Stock up on basics to avoid extra trips to the store

Try grocery delivery or ask a friend to help so you don’t have to go out in public.

Get a grocery list

View Video

Coping with stress during a pandemic

Many of us are feeling afraid and confused, especially as we’re spending more time away from friends and family. You’re not alone. Here are a few things you can do to take care of yourself:

Ask for help

Your Satellite Healthcare Social Worker can help with ideas on how to get through these tough times. Tell them how you’re feeling. Don’t put off saying something when you need help. Let them do their best for you today and any time you need to talk.

Connect online

The American Association of Kidney Patients is an online resource to help find a support group near you. You can find numerous resources through The National Kidney Foundation and the American Kidney Fund that provide guidance, perspective and community support for kidney patients.

If someone in your house is sick with COVID-19

As you care for someone with COVID in your home, follow these precautions to reduce the risk of infection spread:

1.     Have the ill person stay in one room, away from other people, including yourself, as much as possible.

a.     If possible, have the ill person use a separate bathroom.

b.     Avoid sharing personal household items like dishes, towels, and bedding.

c.     Have the ill person wear a facemask when they’re around people, including you.

d.     If the sick person can’t wear a facemask, you should wear one while in the same room with them.

e.     If the sick person needs to be around others (within the home, in a vehicle, or doctor’s office), everyone should wear a facemask.

2.     Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after coming into contact with the sick person. If soap and water aren’t  readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands with it and rub them together until they feel dry.

3.     Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

4.     Frequently disinfect all surfaces that are touched often, like counters, tabletops, and doorknobs. Use household cleaning sprays or wipes according to the label instructions.

5.     Wash laundry thoroughly. If the laundry is soiled, wear disposable gloves and keep the soiled items away from your body while laundering. Wash your hands immediately after removing gloves.

6.     Avoid unnecessary visitors.

Tips for ordering take-out meals

Many restaurants are now closed to enforce social distancing, but take-out for your kidney diet is still available from many eateries. Start by knowing your diet well and asking your dietitian for any tips or advice. If you have sodium, potassium, phosphorus, or protein restrictions, this information will help you make good decisions based on your specific dietary needs.

 

Plan ahead. Choose a restaurant where it will be easiest to select foods best suited for your diet. Restaurants where food is made to order are the best choice.

 

Making your selections. Look over the menu carefully. Ask for more details about items you don’t know about. When you place your order explain that you’re following a special diet. Make special requests about the way your food is prepared as follows:

 

Entrées ideas:

  • Portions served in restaurants may be much larger than what you eat at home. When ordering take-out, estimate an amount close to what you normally have (three ounces of cooked meat, fish, or poultry is about the size of a deck of cards). Plan to have leftovers or split the meal with another person.
  • Grilled items are good choices.
  • Request that salt not be added when cooking.
  • Request that gravies or sauces be served in a separate container.
  • Avoid mixed dishes or casseroles. They’re  usually higher in sodium and phosphorus.
  • Remove the skin from poultry and any crusts from fried foods to decrease sodium content.
  • It’s best NOT to add steak sauce, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, or hot sauce because of the high sodium content.
  • Lemon or lime juice and vinegar make good sauces and will bring out a lot of the natural flavor of foods. Black pepper will add zest to the food without making you thirsty.

When picking a side dish:

  • If you need to restrict potassium, choose starches and vegetables that are lower in potassium, such as rice, noodles and green beans.
  • If your meal doesn’t include a good choice for your diet, request a substitute.
  • Ask that sauces be omitted or served in a separate container.

When the delivery arrives:

  • Ask the delivery person to leave the bag outside your door or be sure to keep your distance from them, especially if you need to pay them directly.
  • If you have to pay them directly, consider wearing gloves. You can also wipe down the bag with a disinfectant wipe.
  • Make sure food is well heated before eating.
  • Wash your hands before eating.