|March 11, 2020
What Healthcare Personnel Should Know about Caring for Patients with Confirmed or Possible COVID-19 Infection
Healthcare personnel (HCP) are on the front lines of caring for patients with confirmed or possible infection with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and therefore have an increased risk of exposure to this virus. HCPs can minimize their risk of exposure when caring for confirmed or possible COVID-19 patients by following Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) or Persons Under Investigation for COVID-19 in Healthcare Settings.
Photo from last weekend's ACEP meeting at Sugarloaf
How COVID-19 Spreads:
There is much to learn about the newly emerged COVID-19, including how and how easily it spreads. Based on what is currently known about COVID-19 and what is known about other coronaviruses, spread is thought to occur mostly from person-to-person via respiratory droplets among close contacts.
Close contact can occur while caring for a patient, including:
If close contact occurs while not wearing all recommended PPE, healthcare personnel may be at risk of infection.
How You Can Protect Yourself:
Healthcare personnel caring for patients with confirmed or possible COVID-19 should adhere to CDC recommendations for infection prevention and control (IPC):
Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection:
Routine cleaning and disinfection procedures are appropriate for SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare settings, including those patient-care areas in which aerosol-generating procedures are performed. Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are recommended for use against SARS-CoV-2. Management of laundry, food service utensils, and medical waste should also be performed in accordance with routine procedures.
When to Contact Occupational Health Services:
If you have an unprotected exposure (i.e., not wearing recommended PPE) to a confirmed or possible COVID-19 patient, contact your supervisor or occupational health immediately.
If you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (fever, cough, or difficulty breathing), do not report to work. Contact your occupational health services.
For more information for healthcare personnel, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/hcp/index.html
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