Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare
CDC updated the Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations relating to COVID-19 in healthcare settings this past Monday.
Below are changes to the guidance as of April 13, 2020:
- To address asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, implement source control for everyone entering a healthcare facility (e.g., healthcare personnel, patients, visitors), regardless of symptoms.
- This action is recommended to help prevent transmission from infected individuals who may or may not have symptoms of COVID-19.
- Cloth face coverings are not considered PPE because their capability to protect healthcare personnel (HCP) is unknown. Facemasks, if available, should be reserved for HCP.
- For visitors and patients, a cloth face covering may be appropriate. If a visitor or patient arrives to the healthcare facility without a cloth face covering, a facemask may be used for source control if supplies are available.
- Actively screen everyone for fever and symptoms of COVID-19 before they enter the healthcare facility.
- As community transmission intensifies within a region, healthcare facilities could consider foregoing contact tracing for exposures in a healthcare setting in favor of universal source control for HCP and screening for fever and symptoms before every shift.
- Added links to updated guidance for:
- Strategies to Optimize the Supply of PPE and other Equipment
- Interim Guidance for Discontinuation of Transmission-Based Precautions and Disposition of Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19
- Interim Guidance on Criteria for Return to Work for Healthcare Personnel with Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19.
- Strategies to Mitigate Staffing Shortages
Key Concepts in This Guidance
- Reduce facility risk. Cancel elective procedures, use telemedicine when possible, limit points of entry and manage visitors, screen everyone entering the facility for COVID-19 symptoms, implement source control for everyone entering the facility, regardless of symptoms.
- Isolate symptomatic patients as soon as possible. Set up separate, well-ventilated triage areas, place patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 in private rooms with the door closed and with private bathrooms (as possible). Reserve AIIRs for patients with COVID-19 undergoing aerosol generating procedures and for care of patients with pathogens transmitted by the airborne route (e.g., tuberculosis, measles, varicella).
- Protect healthcare personnel. Emphasize hand hygiene, install barriers to limit contact with patients at triage, cohort patients with COVID-19, limit the numbers of staff providing their care, prioritize respirators for aerosol generating procedures.
This webpage contains a gold mine of information that you will want to review now and check periodically.