COVID-19: After the Crisis
Resuming Deferred Procedures
- Adequate, appropriate PPE opens in a new tab for healthcare workers; patients and visitors should wear cloth face coverings. Such coverings are not PPE, but do serve an important function of “source control” opens in a new tab
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Use When Caring for Patients with Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 opens in a new tab (updated June 3)
- Appropriate staffing, including preserving surge capacity
- Testing capabilities and capacity; CMS recommends viral testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, for hospitalized patients and those imminently undergoing a procedure or surgery
- Three Foundational Steps to Restart Elective Cases (May 11) opens in a new tab
- Practices to Carry Forward from the Pandemic (April 28) opens in a new tab – Strategies, resources and tools to thrive.
A common, core component of the guidance and roadmap is COVID-19 testing capability and capacity to accommodate the needs of both the healthcare workforce and patients to make sure all feel safe when they come in to seek healthcare services.
CMS cautions any decision to resume procedures is at the discretion of local and state authorities. The guidance recommends routine COVID-19 screening for staff, accompanied by testing and quarantine as appropriate. A facility that decides to reopen procedures should also create areas to reduce the risk and exposure to COVID-19. Any patient who is coming in for a procedure must also be screened for potential symptoms of COVID-19. “When adequate testing capability is established, patients should be screened by laboratory testing before care, and staff working in these facilities should be regularly screened by laboratory test as well,” according to the guidance.
For COVID-19, there are two types of tests available:
- Diagnostic – are you currently infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19
- Serologic (“antibody test”) – you have had a recent SARS-CoV-2 infection
CDC – Overview of testing for SARS-CoV-2 opens in a new tab (updated June 13) provides comprehensive recommendations on testing for COVID-19.
CDC – Interim Guidance on Testing Healthcare Personnel for SARS-CoV-2 (updated July 2).
CDC – SARS-CoV-2 Testing Strategy: Considerations for Non-Healthcare Workplaces opens in a new tab (updated July 3). These considerations are meant to supplement, not replace, any federal, state, local, territorial or tribal health and safety laws, rules and regulations with which workplaces must comply.
FDA – Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) – COVID-19 resources opens in a new tab. Lists current and terminated EUAs for diagnostic and therapeutic medical devices used to diagnose and respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency, including both PPE and in vitro diagnostics.
- Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) – A Coordinated, National Approach to Scaling Public Health Capacity for Contact Tracing and Disease Investigation opens in a new tab
- CDC – Principles of Contact Tracing opens in a new tab
- CDC – COVID-19 Contact Tracing Training Guidance and Resources opens in a new tab
- CDC – Key Information to Collect During a Case Interview (May 21) opens in a new tab
- CDC – Fact Sheet: National Service Resources to Support COVID-19 Contact tracing opens in a new tab
- Public Health Foundation (PHF) – Free contact tracing training opens in a new tab resources.
Second Wave: Surge Preparedness
In the past three most memorable pandemics, 1918’s Spanish flu, 1968’s Hong Kong flu and 2009’s H1N1 flu, the second wave was consistently deadlier than the first. We are now dealing with the first wave of COVID-19, and there is no reason to expect this pandemic will behave differently. Organizations must prepare for surge and wave 2 now, even as you recover from wave 1. CDC’s COVID-19Surge opens in a new tab tool is invaluable in planning.
For more information and resources to support surge preparedness, click hereopens in a new tab.