Read on for a 7-point list of steps to take should you or a staff member or patient test positive for COVID-19, based on current CDC guidance:
- Follow the latest CDC Guidelines: This may include notifying your staff with whom the individual had contact, deep-cleaning and sanitizing the office, and asking staff who worked with the case during the week to monitor symptoms and remain at home. The CDC Guidelines have been updated to include limited situations where a healthcare provider would NOT need to limit work restrictions when exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace.
- Contact your County Health Department: Here is a list of all County Health Departments.
- For 24/7 notice, call the COVID-19 Call Center | +1 (866) 779-6121 or email COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org.
- Find Testing Sites and get tested.
- Watch for Symptoms: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html
- Return to work: The CDC states, “Decisions about return to work for HCP with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should be made in the context of local circumstances. Options include a symptom-based (i.e., time-since-illness-onset and time-since-recovery strategy) or time-based strategy or a test-based strategy.” See CDC Guidance for implementation of the three return to work options.
- Notification to patients? The CDC is silent on whether or not you should notify patients. In discussing the topic with the COVID-19 Call Center, they say that notifying patients is in the discretion of the doctor depending upon the individual circumstances. As you can see in the CDC FAQs, it discusses notifying your local health department: “Healthcare providers should immediately notify infection control personnel at their facility if they suspect COVID-19 in a patient. If a patient tests positive, providers should report that positive result to their local/state health department.”