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Standard Operating Procedure for Self-Quarantine©

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The purpose of this Standard Operating Procedure is to learn, analyse, understand and implement effective self-quarantine measures and methods to protect yourself and your family from any epidemics or pandemics. This is developed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak across the globe during the calendar first quarter of 2020.

SOP

1.0 Scope
This SOP is developed by Fhyzics Business Consultants Private Limited - a consulting firm specialised in SOP design, development and deployment - exclusively for the purpose of self-quarantine at home. The methods indicated here are very much applicable to the Indian context, but the insights can be suitably modified for other countries as well. If you need any support for a modified SOP (in English) for your country of residence, please feel free to contact us and we can do it at free-of-cost. You can contact us at certifications@fhyzics.net or leave your comment in this article.
In China, 70 to 80 percent of transmission occurred within family clusters, according to the World Health Organization.
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2.0 Assumptions
As this outbreak of COVID-19 is relatively new to humanity, we have prepared this SOP with the following assumptions:
  1. COVID-19 virus doesn’t have lifespan of more than three days on the non-living things. Again, this may change because of the temperature, humidity and surface. Hence at this point of time, this is a popular belief.
  2. None of the members under self-quarantine have already contracted the virus.
  3. You are living in this self-quarantine facility at least for the last 30 days or it is thoroughly sanitised before the commencement of the self-quarantine.

 

3.0 Review Cycle

This SOP on Self-Quarantine (SOP-FBC-9999) shall be reviewed and revised once in a day at 2:00 PM based on the inputs received from experts and healthcare professionals. Fhyzics requests the readers to provide such inputs directly as comments at the bottom of this page.

This Standard Operating Procedure for Self-Quarantine is reviewed by :
A.Mahalingam
Healthcare Administrator cum Academician
President
Association for Healthcare Management Professionals – India (AHMP)

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4.0 What is Self-Quarantine?
In the context of COVID-19 outbreak and in the absence of any effective vaccine and/or clear course of treatment (at the time of this writing on 23-Mar-20) prevention is the best alternative to protect self and family. As per this SOP, self-quarantine is defined as the isolation of self and close family members at a facility from all the contacts with the larger society with the aim to prevent getting infected with COVID-19 virus, also known as Novel Coronavirus.

 

 

5.0 Touch-Points Analysis
Touch-Points Analysis refers to a brainstorming exercise to identify that what are all the modes through which the virus can reach you and your family members. These may not be an all-inclusive list and hence the readers are advised to perform a touch-points analysis with your family members like a brainstorming exercise. Involve all the family members in this exercise including children. The touch-points analysis lays the foundation for the success of this SOP. Some of these modes are listed below.
  • Visitors
  • Home delivered milk
  • Courier, national post etc.
  • House maids
  • Home repairs
  • Pets
  • Home delivery of groceries
  • Rodents and Insects etc.
  • Currency and Coins

 

6.0 External-Affairs Member
Nominate one of the family members as external affairs member. The EA member shall be between 20 years to 50 years of age, male/female, physically fit and have self-driving skills. This position is responsible for the following activities:
  1. First person to meet any outsiders on behalf of the family
  2. The only person authorised to go out of home

Prevention is the only Vaccine.

 

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EA member should try to avoid any face-to-face meeting with all outsiders to the extent possible. EA members should understand that they are the only source of bringing any infection to the family members from an outsider or from general public. In an unavoidable situation where the face-to-face meeting happens the EA member shall follow the protocol:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap
  2. Wear face mask properly without leaving any gaps around the edges of the face mask to make it airtight and secure it properly by tying
  3. Wear gloves in both the hands
  4. “Namaste” shall always be the greeting method
  5. Maintain a 2-meter distance between the visitor and yourself during the conversation
  6. Don’t receive any articles or goods directly from the visitor as you will not be able to maintain the 2-meter separation. Ask the visitor to leave such articles or goods in the buffer-zone of your home
  7. At no point the distance between you and your visitor shall be less than 2 meters
  8. Develop a practice to hold your hands separately as if it is stained
  9. Do not touch the doors, doorknobs, handrails etc. with your palm, rather use your elbow or back of your palm to push the doors
  10. In case you need to turn the doorknobs remove the glove on your left-hand and turn the knobs
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EA Member is the only person authorised to go out of home. In China, this is one of the methods that was used to contain the spread of the virus. The EA member shall follow the below protocols:

  1. There should be an essential purpose to go out of home, so plan for your purpose in a detailed manner.
  2. Follow the news and don’t go to the epicentre of this outbreak, so even before leaving, plan at home where you are going and what you are going to get
  3. Consolidate all your requirements for a week, hence talk to your family members, so that you can avoid frequent visits
  4. Make a list of activities you need to perform when you go out. This list may contain, going to ATM to withdraw cash, getting medicines for the elderly, groceries for the next one week, etc. Postpone all your non-essentials for a later date and save money, as no one knows how long this situation will continue.
  5. Now prepare to start from home and keep your home members informed where you are going.
  6. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap
  7. Wear face mask properly without leaving any gaps around the edges of the face mask to make it airtight and secure it properly by tying
  8. Wear gloves in both the hands
  9. Take your phone, cash, credit cards, car key, purchase list, bag etc. so that you complete the tasks in one straight trip
  10. Try to park your vehicle closer to the store (ensure legal parking) so that you walk for a shorter distance.
  11. Try to use your shoulder back or elbow or legs or back of your palm to open the doors in ATM kiosks or mom-and-pop stores.
  12. “Namaste” shall always be the greeting method.
  13. On your return to home, unload the things in the Quarantine Zone
  14. Leave the handwritten purchase list on the goods with the date of purchase
  15. These items can be used on completion of three full day quarantine period.
  16. If anything is urgently required, you need to wash the exterior of the item with soap water to remove any possible contamination.
  17. Then go to the identified restroom remove your dress, wash hands, wash face and wash legs and then change to a new dress. The removed dress should be left for at least a day before taking it for washing.
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7.0 Establish a Quarantine Zone
Quarantine zone is like a buffer zone. Anything that you are receiving from the outside world will go through a three-day quarantine period before being used by you and your family. The three-day quarantine period is recommended so that the contamination on the surface of the products will be cleansed.

The quarantine zone shall be close to the entrance of the house, but not at the quick reach of children. It shall be under lock and key to prevent, children or adults taking it before the quarantine period is over. Since the quarantine period is three-days, you should take the products that have a shelf life of more than three days. Those products with less than three-days shelf life or those that are needed urgently shall be washed with soap water on the exterior surfaces of the packages or dropped into water at 70 deg centigrade for 60 seconds before thorough cooking.

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Family members should monitor their own health, and contact a doctor if they develop a cough, fever or shortness of breath, signs of Covid-19.

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8.0 Steps for Self-Quarantine
8.1 Teach this SOP : Teach this Standard Operating Procedure on Self-Quarantine to your family members and get a buy-in from them to follow this aspect very diligently as there is no vaccine or a conclusive treatment protocol available at this point of time.

8.2 Visitors  : To the extent possible avoid all visitors. Non-essential meeting with visitors will completely jeopardise the self-quarantine exercise. But in some cases you may have to permit health workers and doctors. In that case, the visitor shall be received the EA Member and then understand the necessity to meet. In case the visitor need to meet any other members of your family then they shall meet following all the protocols of meeting a visitor indicated earlier.
8.3 News : Be aware of what’s happening in your locality, nation and at global level. Identify one channel each at local, national and at global level to keep yourself update of the progress of COVID and to learn about additional safety measures. As COVID is relatively new to the whole world we tend to get new information on daily basis, hence staying on top of these new information is vital for your and your family’s health and safety.
8.4 Employment : During this period of self-quarantine, please ensure that you are in touch with your colleagues and manager of your company and keep updating them about the progress of work and don’t hesitate to take any help from your colleagues and company.
8.5 Milk : Stop the daily delivered milk packets. Instead use the milk power or long-life milk.
8.6 Courier : Most of the courier companies demand signature. Talk to them to avoid, but in the worst case the EA member shall take care of this following the protocol.

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8.7 National Posts : Don’t bother about all the advertisements, catalogues and coupons you receive. Let it wait for a later date.
8.8 House Maid : Some of the households have the maid working full-time for that one household. This is recommended in self-quarantine situation. But in some other cases, the maids may be serving several households in a region. There is a potential danger for contamination as they are visiting multiple places frequently in a day. It is recommended that you may request the house maid not to come to your home until the quarantine period is over.
8.9 Home Repairs: Postpone all your home repairs unless otherwise it is unsafe for the residents. Try to do small repairs or fixes on your own.
8.10 Pets : Keep your pets indoor. Don’t let them to go out as they become the passive carrier for the germs.
8.11 Home Delivery of Groceries : Ask the home delivery to staff to unload the things at the entrance of your home. Don’t allow them into the quarantine zone as they may contaminate the goods that will be released today.
8.12 Rodents and Insects : Keep your kitchen and living rooms free from rodents and insects as they may move across the households in a densely populated area and may contaminate the food items and other surfaces.

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8.13 Alcohol : Stay away from alcohol during your self-quarantine period. First, alcohol consumption will reduce your immunity. Second, you may suffer from a lowered decision-making skill and during that time you may commit certain violations on self-quarantine policies. Third, you are with your children and family members, be supportive to them during this tough times.
8.14 Exercise : A moderate exercise for 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening would be really helpful to boost your immune system and to be active in the absence of our routine tasks.
8.15 Beware of Fake News : During these disturbing times, please follow the reliable news sources and channels. Whenever you get any news that talks about any drastic measures, first you need to verify and validate its veracity.
8.16 Facial Hairs : Having a large moustache or beard may reduce the efficacy of wearing the masks. So during this time it is recommended to have a clean shaved face at all times. In case of some urgency, shaving the face may not come to mind immediately and you may wear masks on the beard, which may not protect.
8.17 Avoid Self Medication : During this self-quarantine period, try to avoid self medication without doctor’s advice. Though venturing out is not an immediate option, first talk to your family doctor and take his or her advice.
8.18 Important Contact Numbers : On a normal day, you may simply go to a nearby store. But during the quarantine time each our external visit shall be seen as an exposure to risk of contracting COVID. Hence keep a list of all the phone numbers such as your family doctor, medical store, grocery store, utilities etc.
8.19 How Long on Self-Quarantine : The spread of COVID is at different levels at different parts of the world, so you are advised to follow your national and local government orders and make a suitable decision on how long to be on self-quarantine for yourself and your family.
8.20 Employment : During this period of self-quarantine, please ensure that you are in touch with your colleagues and manager of your company and keep updating them about the progress of work and don’t hesitate to take any help from your colleagues and company.

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9.0 References

9.1 World Health Organisation (WHO)
https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_1 

9.2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/get-your-household-ready-for-COVID-19.html

9.3 How to Quarantine Yourself
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/06/health/self-quarantine-coronavirus.html

9.4 Self-Quarantine Guide, Queensland Government
https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/take-action/self-quarantine

9.5 How to Manage Anxiety and Isolation During Quarantine
Anxiety and Depression Association of America
https://adaa.org/learn-from-us/from-the-experts/blog-posts/consumer/covid-19-lockdown-guide-how-manage-anxiety-and

9.6 Why we touch our faces and how to stop it
https://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-51879695/coronavirus-why-we-touch-our-faces-and-how-to-stop-it

9.7 Stay Physically Active During Self-Quarantine
http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/health-emergencies/coronavirus-covid-19/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-technical-guidance/stay-physically-active-during-self-quarantine

Tags: SOP

Written by Venkadesh Narayanan

Venkadesh is a Mechanical Engineer and an MBA with 30 years of experience in the domains of supply chain management, business analysis, new product development, business plan and standard operating procedures. He is currently working as Principal Consultant at Fhyzics Business Consultants. He is also serving as President, PDMA-India (an Indian affiliate of PDMA, USA) and Recognised Instructor of APICS, USA and CIPS, UK. He is a former member of Indian Civil Services (IRAS). Fhyzics offers consulting, certification, and executive development programs in the domains of supply chain management, business analysis and new product development.

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