Procedures to Follow After COVID-19 Exposure
Healthcare professionals who have been exposed should follow different procedures based on how exposure occurred and how well they were protected.
Posted in Coronavirus on Wednesday, April 22, 2020
What Should Healthcare Professionals Do When They Have Been Exposed to COVID-19?
According to the AMA:
“Health care professionals in any of the risk exposure categories (high, medium, low or no risk) who develop signs or symptoms compatible with COVID-19 must contact their established point of contact (public health authorities or their facility's occupational health program) for medical evaluation prior to returning to work.”
“Facilities could consider allowing asymptomatic health care professionals who have had an exposure to a patient with COVID-19 to continue to work after options to improve staffing have been exhausted and in consultation with their occupational health program.”
What should healthcare professionals do if they performed a procedure on a patient with COVID-19?
If a health professional was not wearing proper PPE (their eyes, nose, or mouth were not protected) and was present in the room or performed a procedure that generated higher concentrations of respirator secretions, they are at high-risk.
The CDC recommends monitoring for COVID-19 until 14 days after the last potential exposure. These individuals should also be excluded from work during the monitoring period. If a fever or respiratory symptoms consistent with COVID-19 develop, immediately self-isolate and notify your local or state public health authority and health care facility promptly.
What should healthcare professionals do if they have come into close contact with a patient who has been diagnosed with COVID-19?
If a health professional had close contact with a patient with COVID-19 where the patient was wearing a facemask, but the health care provider was not wearing a facemask or respirator, the CDC recommends that the health care provider be actively monitored for COVID-19 and be excluded from work for 14 days after the last exposure. If a fever or respiratory symptoms consistent with COVID-19 develop, immediately self-isolate and notify your local or state public health authority and health care facility promptly.
A physician wearing all recommended PPE including a facemask or respirator while having close contact with a patient who was also wearing a facemask should take your temperature twice a day and remain alert for respiratory symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
Regardless of whether the patient?with COVID-19 was wearing a facemask, a health professional should self-monitor until 14 days after last potential exposure. No work restrictions for asymptomatic individuals is needed.