Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an emerging illness. Many details about this disease are still unknown, such as treatment options, how the virus works, and the total impact of the illness. At this time, most people in the United States will have little immediate risk of exposure to this virus. New information, obtained daily, will further inform the risk assessment, treatment options and next steps. We always rely on our provider partners to ensure the health of our members, and we want you to be aware of the tools available to help you identify the virus and care for your patients during this time of heightened concern.
- Ask patients complaining of fever and lower respiratory illness about recent travel to China or other infected areas.
- Instruct symptomatic patients with travel history to China or other infected areas to wear a surgical or isolation mask and promptly place the patient in a private room with the door closed.
- Health care personnel encountering symptomatic patients with travel history to China or other infected areas should follow contact precautions, airborne with N95 precautions, and wear eye protection and other personal protective equipment.
- Refer to the CDC’s criteria for a patient under investigation for COVID-19. Notify local and/or state health departments in the event of a patient under investigation for COVID-19. Maintain a log of all health care personnel who provide care to a patient under investigation.
- Monitor and manage ill and exposed healthcare personnel.
- Safely triage and manage patients with respiratory illness, including COVID-19. Explore alternatives to face-to-face triage and visits as possible, and manage mildly ill COVID-19 cases at home, if possible.
- Be alert for patients who meet the criteria for persons under investigation and know how to coordinate laboratory testing.
- Review your infection prevention and control policies and CDC's recommendations for healthcare facilities for COVID-19.
- Know how to report a potential COVID-19 case or exposure to facility infection control leads and public health officials. Contact your local and/or state health department to notify necessary health officials in the event of a person under investigation for COVID-19.
Refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization for the most up-to-date recommendations about COVID-19, including signs and symptoms, diagnostic testing, and treatment information.