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COVID-19 Health and Other Partner Resources


UPDATED April 1, 2020

Coordination and planning with our many healthcare and community partners are the most important elements of our countywide response to the spread of COVID-19. Please find the most up-to-date resources available in the tabs below.


Healthcare providers or caregivers who have questions about symptoms they or their patients exhibit should call 1-844-542-8201, anytime.

Healthcare providers who need assistance assessing a patient with COVID-19 concerns may call 520-724-7797, anytime if the case meets specific guidelines

Members of the general public who have questions should call 2-1-1 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. or visit pima.gov/covid19 anytime.

Arizona clinicians are recommended to:

  • Mask and isolate suspected COVID-19 patients or other patients presenting with acute respiratory illness. Isolation should take place in a private room with the door closed.
  • Immediately notify your healthcare facility’s infection control personnel and PCHD.
  • Healthcare personnel encountering a suspect patient should use standard precautions, contact precautions, droplet precautions, and use eye protection (e.g., goggles or a face shield).
  • Obtain a detailed travel history for patients being evaluated with fever and acute respiratory illness.
  • Consider testing for seasonal respiratory illnesses, like influenza.
  • Coordinate with PCHD for specimen collection, transport, and testing for suspect cases.
The Arizona Department of Health Services and local health departments are coordinating surveillance, infection control, and communication with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding COVID-19.

For all patients who meet COVID-19 PUI criteria:

  1. Healthcare personnel entering the room should use droplet, contact, and standard precautions, plus eye protection (e.g., goggles or a face shield) and patients can be evaluated in a private room with the door closed (unless performing aerosol-generating procedures, which should be performed in an AIIR);
  2. Immediately notify your healthcare facility’s infection control personnel;
  3. If you are seeking approval for COVID-19 testing through the ASPHL only - notify Pima County Health Department at 520-724-7797 during both business and after hours.
  4. Immediately call the Arizona COVID-19 Hotline (1-844-542-8201);
  5. Collect Nasopharyngeal (NP) swab for testing for COVID-19.

Health Department Guidance and Recommendations

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Healthcare providers caring for a patient with fever and/or acute respiratory symptoms should:

  • Consider ordering a respiratory viral panel to potentially identify other treatable diagnoses.
  • Determine if the patient meets criteria outlined below:
Arizona State Public Health Laboratory Testing Matrix

For all patients who meet COVID-19 PUI criteria:

  • Healthcare personnel who enter the room should use droplet, contact, and standard precautions, plus eye protection (e.g., goggles or a face shield), and patients can be evaluated in a private room with the door closed (unless performing aerosol-generating procedures, which should be performed in a AIIR);
  • Immediately notify your healthcare facility's Infection Control Personnel
  • Immediately call the Arizona COVID-19 Hotline (1-844-542-8201);
  • Collect Nasopharyngeal (NP) swab for testing for COVID-19.

Commercial COVID-19 Testing

Private tests are now available with a provider referral at LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics. Note that the specimens MUST be collected by a provider.
PRINTABLE
Arizona State Public Health Laboratory COVID-19 Testing Matrix.pdf- ADHS

Personal Protective Equipment

Based on the available evidence, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 infection, is transmitted via respiratory droplets between people in close contact, not by airborne transmission.

Due to this, ADHS now recommends that healthcare providers:

  • Use standard, contact, and droplet precautions with eye protection for suspect or confirmed COVID-19 cases.
  • Use gowns, gloves, respirators (such as N95 mask) and eye protection (goggles or face shield) when performing aerosol-generating procedures (e.g., tracheal intubation, non-invasive ventilation, tracheostomy, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, manual ventilation before intubation, bronchoscopy).
  • Due to the change in transmission-based precautions from airborne to droplet, it is not necessary to place a suspect patient in an airborne infection isolation room (AIIR). A private room with a closed-door is acceptable. Using an AIIR for aerosol-generating procedures is still recommended.

PRINTABLE:

 

Strategies for Long-term Care Facilities to prepare for COVID-19

Prepare your facility

  • Stay informed about the local COVID-19 situation.
  • Review your infection prevention and control policies.
  • Develop, or review, your facility's emergency plan.
  • A COVID-19 outbreak could lead to staff absenteeism. Prepare alternative staffing plans to ensure staff availability.
  • Have a plan to ensure proper cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces and equipment.

Prevent the introduction of respiratory germs into your facility

  • Restrict all visitation, with the exception for compassionate care situations. Visitors for end of life situations should be screened for fever or respiratory symptoms. Those without symptoms can be permitted to visit, but must wear a face mask while in the building. Frequent handwashing by visitors should be encouraged.
  • Restrict all volunteers and non-essential healthcare personnel (such as barbers). Restrictions do not apply to outside healthcare personnel who provide essential care to residents.
  • Ensure sick leave policies allow employees to stay home if they have symptoms of respiratory infection.
  • Observe newly arriving patients/residents for development of respiratory symptoms. Implement appropriate infection prevention practices for incoming symptomatic residents.

Prevent the spread of respiratory germs WITHIN your facility

  • Cancel group activities and communal dining.
  • Monitor residents and employees for fever or respiratory symptoms.
  • Limit the movement of COVID-19 patients and patients with fever or acute respiratory symptoms (e.g., have them remain in their room).
  • Use Standard, Contact, and Droplet Precautions with eye protection for care of residents with COVID-19 or undiagnosed respiratory infection.
  • Support hand and respiratory hygiene, as well as cough etiquette by residents, visitors, and employees.
  • Post visual alerts (signs, posters) at entrances and in strategic places providing instruction on hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, and cough etiquette.
  • Ensure supplies are available (tissues, waste receptacles, alcohol-based hand sanitizer).
  • Provide the right supplies to ensure easy and correct use of PPE.
  • Post signs on the door or wall outside of the resident room that clearly describe the type of precautions needed and required PPE.
  • Make PPE, including facemasks, eye protection, gowns, and gloves, available immediately outside of the resident room.
  • Position a trash can near the exit inside any resident room to make it easy for employees to discard PPE.
  • Identify dedicated staff to care for COVID-19 patients.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Use a bleach-and-water solution (0.1% solution; 1:50 dilution) or disinfectant with a label that says "EPA approved" for killing bacteria and viruses. Always follow directions on product labels.
  • Know who, when, and how to seek evaluation by occupational health following an unprotected exposure (i.e. not wearing recommended PPE) to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patient. Employees who are exposed to probable or confirmed cases of COVID-19 should monitor themselves for ill symptoms. Exposed employees can continue to work as long as they are asymptomatic. If an exposed employee develops symptoms of COVID-19, they should be restricted from patient care and notify their facility’s infection control office and occupational health for further recommendations.

Prevent the spread of respiratory germs BETWEEN facilities

  • Notify facilities prior to transferring a resident with an acute respiratory illness, including suspected or confirmed COVID-19, to a higher level of care.
  • Report any possible COVID-19 illness in residents and employees to the local health department.

If there is not a clear emergency requiring emergency services, it is preferable to have the person pre-evaluated by public health officials in the location where they reside.

If possible, it may be preferable to arrange for private vehicle transport instead of using emergency medical services. Note: Local travel by private vehicle is only permissible if the symptomatic person is wearing a facemask. 

All EMS Partners should:

  • Use standard, contact, and droplet precautions with eye protection for suspect or confirmed COVID-19 cases. 
  • Use gowns, gloves, respirators (such as N95 mask) and eye protection (goggles or face shield) when performing aerosol-generating procedures (e.g., tracheal intubation, non-invasive ventilation, tracheostomy, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, manual ventilation before intubation, bronchoscopy). 
  • Due to the change in transmission-based precautions from airborne to droplet, it is not necessary to place a suspect patient in an airborne infection isolation room (AIIR). A private room with a closed-door is acceptable. Using an AIIR for aerosol-generating procedures is still recommended.
  • If a patient suspected to be exposed to COVID-19 is arriving via transport by emergency medical services (EMS), the ambulance attendant should contact the receiving emergency department (ED) or healthcare facility to allow the healthcare facility to prepare for receipt of the patient.

Patient Management Precautions:

  • When possible, mask patients as soon as possible if they report recent travel to areas with confirmed spread of COVID-19.
  • Ideally, patients should be evaluated in a private space with minimal contact with others.
  • Immediately notify your chain of command. Response agencies should notify the Health Department if they have a patient who reports travel to an affected area in the past 14 days AND is exhibiting symptoms like fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
  • The number of EMS and hospital personnel should be limited to those providing essential care services to minimize potential exposures
For more information, visit CDC’s
Interim Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients Under Investigation for 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

As additional information is available, the Department will post up-to-date resources from the CDC, ASPR, and NHTSA and on the EMS website.