Caregiver COVID-19 Questions
Other COVID-19 links: PPE | COVID-19 Information in Other Languages | Training & Deadlines | Health Benefits | Other Resources | COVID-19 CE Webinar
COVID-19 has greatly impacted caregiving. Protecting caregiver safety, health and stability as you are on the frontline is more important than ever.
Below are some answers to the top questions coming from caregivers right now. We recognize that there are still great challenges you may be facing and these answers will not address them all. This page will be updated as more is learned about COVID-19 and what is being done to address the outbreak.
Questions answered below include:
- How do I get Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?
- What do I do if I’m sick?
- What do I do if my client is sick?
- What if I lose hours?
- How can I get more hours?
- What about hazard pay and other financial help?
- How can I get access to continued healthcare?
How do I get PPE?
See the PPE webpage for resources.
What do I do if I'm sick?
If you become ill with any of the common symptoms of COVID-19—fever, cough, fatigue, achiness:
- You may not need to go to a doctor unless your symptoms become severe (for example, trouble breathing; see separate recommendations about high-risk populations below).
- If you are having mild COVID-19 symptoms and would like to see a doctor, please call first or seek virtual care.
- In addition to not going out of your home, try to isolate yourself in a room away from other family members, and do not handle pets while sick.
- Use a dedicated bathroom, if possible.
- Open windows in your home (if temperature allows) to increase ventilation.
- If you are around other people, you should wear a face covering or standard PPE (if available).
- If you have had COVID-19 symptoms such as fever or cough, you can end isolation when you have not had a fever for at least 72 hours, your other symptoms have improved (including respiratory symptoms) and at least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared. If you get tested and are negative for COVID-19, follow your doctor’s recommendations for ending isolation.
- Have questions? See more guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
If you are considered vulnerable to COVID-19—over age 60, pregnant, immuno-compromised, or with an underlying condition like diabetes, heart or lung disease—you should:
- Let your doctor know about your illness, even if mild.
- If you do not have a doctor, schedule a virtual doctor’s visit to seek advice. Several healthcare clinics in Washington state are offering free, virtual visits to those with symptoms of COVID-19.
- If severe symptoms come up, such as trouble breathing, seek medical attention immediately.
What do I do if my client is sick?
Please see two publications from the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS):
- Guidance for providing safe care during the COVID-19 outbreak
This document includes tips for care generally, including tasks that can be done remotely or via phone.
- Recommendations for caregivers caring for a client with a confirmed COVID-19 case or under investigation for COVID-19.
This document is designed specifically for caring for individuals who have or are suspected to have COVID-19.
- If you are caring for a family member who is sick, please see this guidance from the CDC.
- If you have been potentially exposed to COVID-19, the Washington Department of Health (DOH) has recommendations for what to do, which include avoiding work and public places for 14 days.
What if I lose hours?
There are several reasons caregivers are losing hours right now. Your particular situation will dictate what options are available to you.
SEIU 775 has several resources on their website. In particular, see the Lost Hours section of their COVID-19 webpage. In addition to a list of various resources like unemployment and worker’s compensation, they have a quiz available that can help determine which resources are right for you.
How can I get more hours?
Many healthy IPs are losing work hours due to COVID-19. If this has happened to you and you want to continue working, try Carina, the website that connects caregivers with clients. There are currently a high number of jobs available that you can apply for.
- COVID-19 questions that a client may ask you.
- Where to get the latest COVID-19 information, and hygiene and safety precautions.
- Tips for conducting safe interviews.
What about hazard pay and other financial help?
Hazard pay is now available for IPs. IPs will receive an additional $3 an hour for every hour worked in May and June.
IPs will also receive a one-time stipend of $100 for the supplies that may have been purchased while keeping yourself and your clients safe.
COVID-19 has created a lot of uncertainty about financial security. These are stressful times. To get help right now, the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions has created a list of financial resources, from mortgage payment help to utility payment emergency assistance programs and more.
As more resources become available, they will also be posted to the COVID-19 Resources page.
How can I get access to continued healthcare?
For a limited time, if you work fewer than the required 80 hours per month due to COVID-19, you can still get continuous health insurance if you have health coverage through SEIU 775 Benefits Group. To get started, visit the Caregiver Continuous Health Coverage webpage.
If you do not have healthcare through SEIU 775 Benefits Group, please see the “COVID-19 Health Benefits” webpage.