CDC infection prevention guidance for PPE, updated on March 10, include the following recommendations:
- Facemasks are an acceptable alternative to respirators in the setting of shortages of respirators.
- N95 respirators should be prioritized for procedures that are likely to generate a high concentration of respiratory aerosols (e.g., intubation, cardiopulmonary resuscitation).
- Eye protection is still recommended for use during patient care.
- Gowns and gloves are recommended for clinical care, but if gowns are in short supply, they should be prioritized for procedures that are likely to generate respiratory aerosols.
Aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) including cardiopulmonary resuscitation, intubation, extubation, bronchoscopy, nebulizer therapy, and sputum induction, pose a particular infection control risk. If performed, health care providers (HCP) in the room should wear an N95 or higher-level respirator, in addition to eye protection, gloves, and a gown. The number of HCP present during the procedure should be limited to only those essential for patient care and procedure support. AGPs should ideally take place in an airborne isolation rooms (AIIRs). AIIRs should be reserved whenever possible for patients who may necessitate an AGP.
With the increase in reports of COVID-19 cases, Orange County medical providers will be at risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the clinical and community setting. Any provider who develops fever and cough is recommended to immediately stop working until fever has resolved for 24 hours. Providers who are concerned that they may have COVID-19 due to symptoms or suspected exposure to COVID-19 are encouraged to talk with their occupational health provider or OCHCA at 714-834-8180 to discuss potential COVID-19 testing.