Ensure appropriate triage policies are in place for ALL patients with symptoms of acute respiratory illness, including:
- In healthcare settings, place a facemask on the patient and place the patient in a private area at least 6 feet away from others, preferably a private room if COVID-19 risk factors are present
- Consider nurse advice lines and telemedicine for initial assessment of patients not requiring emergency care.
- If a patient’s symptoms are mild and can be cared for at home, consider recommending the patient to remain home and isolate themselves while ill. The patient should stay home and avoid group settings, including work and school and avoid using public transportation such as buses, taxis, or ride-shares until their illness resolves. (Additional guidance can be found here: Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Homes and Residential Communities)
Long-Term Care Facilities should adhere to CDC guidance Preparing for COVID-19: Long Term care Facilities, Nursing Homes as well as guidance from the Hawaii Department of Health.
Healthcare personnel should use a cautious approach to interacting with patients under investigation:
- Isolate symptomatic patients as soon as possible. Have the patient wear a facemask (if available) or ask them to cover the nose and mouth with a tissue.
- Conduct their evaluation in a private room with the door closed, ideally an airborne infection isolation room, if available.
- Personnel entering the room should use standard precautions, contact precautions, and droplet precautions and use eye protection (goggles or a face shield). For personnel performing, or in the room for, aerosol-generating procedures such as intubation, an N95 respirator or equivalent should be used.
- For additional infection control guidance, visit CDC’s Infection Control webpage
- Visit the CDC’s webpage for Strategies to Optimize the PPE Supply