When her patient tested positive for COVID-19, Farzaneh Sabi, MD, called the Kaiser Permanente member right away. Dr. Sabi checked on her patient’s condition and told her and her family about a Kaiser Permanente program designed to help stop the spread of the virus.
“I got in touch with the member’s daughter to get the family connected with our Household Prevention Program,” said Dr. Sabi, an associate medical director for hospital operations at Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States. “It fills a critical need by giving members who live with others access to a free home quarantine kit to help them self-isolate, and information and tools to help other household members avoid contracting the virus when someone is contagious.”
Spread of COVID-19 in households is a significant issue
A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more than half of the people who lived with someone with a COVID-19 infection also became infected within a week.
“My patient’s daughter went to her mother’s house to take care of her and was worried about going back to her own home and exposing her own family,” explained Dr. Sabi.
Kaiser Permanente’s Household Prevention Program works directly with members who test positive for COVID-19, providing a toll-free hotline they can call to speak with a specialist who provides information to help prevent the spread of infection within households. Members who call learn steps they can take to help safely isolate at home, including wearing masks indoors, opening windows to increase airflow, washing hands often, and regularly cleaning and disinfecting household areas.
While talking with members who test positive for COVID-19, household prevention specialists also ask questions to identity any needs related to finding food or stable housing, and if needed, provide connections to community resources so they can safely quarantine.
If members who test positive for COVID-19 live with others, they can also receive a quarantine support kit sent overnight to their home. The kit contains an educational booklet, masks, hand sanitizer, hand soap, gloves, disinfectant spray cleaner, a digital thermometer, alcohol swabs, waste bags, and disposable plates, cups, and utensils.
Cynthia Fisher, who works as a prison nurse in California, received her COVID-19 diagnosis at work and a friend told her to alert Kaiser Permanente since she’s been a member since 2009. “It was really awesome,” said Fisher. “We didn’t have to go out and potentially expose others because they also referred us to a meals program.”
In a recent follow-up survey of the Kaiser Permanente members who participated in the Home Prevention Program, more than 90% said the prevention advice and home quarantine kit were very helpful, with some describing the resources as “invaluable” and saying the information “made me feel more at ease.”
David Grossman, MD, interim senior vice president for social and community health, who led the team that developed the Household Prevention Program, said, “We’re pleased this effort is making a difference, and we continue to enhance the program to best support our members in keeping their households safe.”
We can all do our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It’s important to continue following state and local public health guidelines including wearing a mask, physical distancing, frequent hand-washing, limiting group gatherings, restricting nonessential travel, and getting a flu shot.
Get the facts about COVID-19 and resources to keep yourself and your community healthy and strong during this pandemic at kp.org/coronavirus.
Together we can stop the spread of COVID-19.