This is a page built specifically for the COVID-19 pandemic, and will be updated continuously and rapidly and with the approval and oversight of qualified medical professionals, until the pandemic is over, whereupon it can be safely ignored.
This list is made up of the guiding policies QueerCare will be using to develop protocols for doing support work during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Each policy item includes a bracketed list of the relevant principles of doing support work in the COVID-19 pandemic.
- People doing support work should have as low a chance of being infected as is possible. (1, 2, 3)
- If people are infected, they should have as low a chance of passing on the infection as is possible. Systems should be designed on the assumption that anyone is infected. (1, 4)
- If someone is showing symptoms of infection, it should be easy to trace all contact they have had with at-risk people. They should cease doing support work immediately. (2, 3, 4)
- The minimum number of people should be able to have direct or indirect contact with at-risk people, in order to reduce their possible exposure to infection. (1, 2, 3)
- All meetings should be done remotely through digital means where possible. Where it is absolutely necessary for people to meet, they should have minimal contact. (1, 2, 3)
- Thorough hand washing should be done frequently, and always done following touching the face, or using public transportation. (5, 8)
- Wearing gloves should be done while handling all items which may be given to people who are immuno-compromised and while in proximity to anyone who may be infected. Aprons should be worn around anyone who may be infected. (5, 8)
- All items given to someone at risk must be disinfected on all surfaces that will be handled by them. (2, 3, Policy 2)
- Public transport should be avoided where possible. Where this is unavoidable, public transport should be used by as few people as possible as infrequently as possible. (6, Policy 1)
- Disinfection must be carried out after items are taken on public transport. (6, Policy 1)
- Masks should be worn where possible, by both people doing support, and people needing support, but if in short supply should be prioritised for situations where people must come into close physical proximity. Masks should be worn in line with manufacturer recommendations, which for paper masks is no more than 15 minutes of effective use.(5)
- To ensure people feel safe and secure in asking for help, data must not be shared beyond support groups (e.g. with private companies, political parties, councils, the NHS, or the police) without that person’s explicit consent. (10, GDPR)
- Support should be provided without being conditional on sharing someone’s data with another organisation (such as a private company, political party, a council, the NHS or the police). (10)