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This web site is intended to provide an overview and key documents, resources, tools and links to web sites for the current outbreak of a 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Additional information and resources are found on the Safety Institute’s Epidemic Flu, Respiratory Illness page.

COVID-19 (formerly 2019-nCoV)


Effective Feb. 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) renamed 2019-nCoV to COVID-19 opens in a new tab . The CDC is following suit and will update its website with the new name.

Coronaviruses are common around the world and cause a range of illnesses in humans, from the common cold to SARS and MERS. Viruses of this family also cause disease in animals. Chinese authorities are reporting an outbreak with a possible a zoonotic origin in Wuhan City. The new virus was initially named the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov). CDC has confirmed person-to-person transmission in the U.S. Complete CDC information and recommendations to date are available here.

On Jan. 30, 2020, the WHO declared 2019-nCoV a global health emergency.

Recommendations for Healthcare Providers

At present there is no vaccine or specific treatment for 2019-nCoV infection; care is supportive. CDC’s current interim recommendations include:
  • Rapid identification of patients presenting with fever and lower respiratory illness, who have traveled recently to Wuchan City or have been in close contact with an ill, lab-confirmed 2019-nCoV patient. A detailed travel history is needed for patients presenting with fever and acute respiratory illness. CDC clinical criteria opens in a new tab provide guidance for evaluation.
  • Immediately notify both infection control staff at your facility and local or state health department in the event of a Patient Under Investigation (PUI).
  • CDC currently recommends a cautious approach to persons suspected of having 2019-nCoV, while they work to understand actual transmission processes and while specific diagnostic tests are developed. As of 1/20/2020 it is suspected that person-to-person transmission can occur
    • CDC’s interim recommendations are available here opens in a new tab.
    • Patient should wear a surgical mask and be placed in a single occupancy room
    • Ideal location is an airborne infection isolation room
    • Healthcare workers should adhere to standard precautions, contact precautions and use eye protection, e.g., goggles or face shield
    • Premier members are encouraged to work with their supply chain to ensure adequate inventory of needed PPE and other supplies (Member login required) opens in a new tab
    • As always, hand hygiene and cough etiquette (cover the cough – not with your hand!) are invaluable prevention tactics

Laboratory Specimen Collection, Testing and Reporting

CDC guidelines for clinical lab specimens and lab biosafety guidelines  are available here. opens in a new tab At this time, diagnostic testing for COVID-19   can only be conducted at CDC.

Premier emergency preparedness resources

Premier healthcare alliance: Disaster Preparedness and Response Resources opens in a new tab are available to help guide the Premier membership in its preparation and potential response activities for emergencies, disasters and disruptions, such as hurricanes and outbreaks; members will find preparation checklists, proposed disaster playbooks, monthly tips, supplier, regulatory and support offerings and real-time updates during and immediately following a disaster (member log in required).

MERS CoV – Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus

From April 2012 to July 2013, a novel new coronavirus caused respiratory illness in 81 adults (45 fatal) from four countries in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates) as well as France, Germany, Tunisia and the United Kingdom. (Updated case counts opens in a new tab) Symptoms included fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The new virus was named the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus or (MERS-CoV). There is still limited information on transmission, severity and clinical impact. Thus far, all clusters of cases have occurred in a health care setting or among close family contacts. Human-to-human transmission was documented on several occasions in which secondary cases had not traveled to affected areas and is strongly suspected in others. In May 2014, there were two imported cases of MERS in travelers from Saudi Arabia to the US, however the cases were not linked. For more information, visit the CDC website on MERS opens in a new tab.