Guidelines for physicians during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic
We understand that caring for the vulnerable skilled nursing facility patient population is a serious matter during the Coronavirus pandemic. It is imperative to protect our important patient population at this uncertain time. As circumstances, knowledge, and data change daily our guidelines may also change rapidly.
Where did the Coronavirus come from?, How does the COVID-19 virus infect and replicate? Dr. Bardia Anvar discusses the background of the Coronavirus and answers frequently asked questions.
How COVID-19 Spreads
There is much to learn about the COVID-19, including how it's contracted and how easily it spreads. Based on what is currently known about COVID-19 and what is known about other coronaviruses, the 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:
Being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a patient with COVID-19 for a prolonged period.
Having direct contact with infectious secretions from a patient with COVID-19. Infectious secretions may include sputum, serum, blood, and respiratory droplets.
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):
Assess and triage these patients with acute respiratory symptoms and risk factors for COVID-19 to minimize chances of exposure, including placing a facemask on the patient and isolating them in an Airborne Infection Isolation Room (AIIR), if available.
Use Standard Precautions, Contact Precautions, and Airborne Precautions and eye protection when caring for patients with confirmed or possible COVID-19. (Note: Currently approved protective masks are in short supply).
Perform hand hygiene with alcohol-based hand rub before and after all patient contact, contact with potentially infectious material, and before putting on and upon removal of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including gloves. Use soap and water if hands are visibly soiled.
Practice how to properly use PPE in a manner that prevents self-contamination.
Perform aerosol-generating procedures, including a collection of diagnostic respiratory specimens, in an AIIR, while following appropriate IPC practices, including the use of appropriate PPE.
Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection
Routine cleaning and disinfection procedures are appropriate for COVID-19 in health care 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, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Management of laundry, food service utensils and medical waste should also be performed strictly in accordance with routine procedures.
ACTION FOR SWC PROVIDERS IN CASE OF EXPOSURE OR SYMPTOMS
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.
SPG’s mission includes improving as many lives as possible, delivering service in an innovative way, providing the best outcomes for all patients and stakeholders, and working as partners with nurses. SPG is continuing to serve patients and endeavors to be a critical resource for delivering patient care, especially during this pandemic.
For the latest information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) please visit the official CDC website