COVID-19 Guidance for Healthcare Providers
We here at ADH want to keep you informed regarding coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Specifically, we want to inform you about considerations for health care professionals.
Health care professionals have an increased risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19. Care providers can minimize risk of exposure when caring for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients by following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) guidance, which may be found here.
To view the Clinical Guidance for Management of Patients with Confirmed COVID-19 issued by the Arkansas Department of Health, click here.
- ADH Elective Procedures (letter to healthcare facilities)
- For Hemodialysis Centers
- Guidance on Elective Procedures
- Guidance For Physicians Instituting Home Quarantine
- Guidance for Prevention and Management of COVID-19 in Long-Term Care Facilities
- Guidelines for Discontinuation of Isolation Precautions in Patients with COVID-19 Infection
- Waivers Related to Federal Standards for Medicare Certified Health Care Providers
For Health Care Providers Only
For Healthcare Providers who want to speak with an Arkansas Department of Health physician about testing at ADH or who have other COVID-19 questions, call1-844-930-3023.
At this time, ADH is only performing tests Arkansans with possible high risk exposure to COVID-19. Depending on travel history, or exposure to people with confirmed COVID-19 some individuals may be placed under home quarantine by the ADH.
Health care professionals with patients experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should use COVID-19 testing that is now available through commercial laboratories, such as LabCorp or Quest.
Please only call the ADH Outbreak Response section at 1-800-803-7847 if you have any questions or want to consult with ADH regarding testing for high risk patients, such as close contacts confirmed positive patients.
Recommendations for Reporting, Testing, and Specimen Collection
- Immediately implement recommended infection prevention and control practices, such as placing a surgical mask on the patient.
- Notify infection control personnel at your facility.
- For initial diagnostic testing, follow the directions provided by your commercial lab.
- For testing high risk patients under consultation from ADH Outbreak Response staff, collect a nasopharyngeal swab, and submit it to ADH accompanied by a completed PUI form.
- ADH staff including local health units do not do specimen collection for patients. This is the responsibility of the clinic or hospital requesting the test.
- ADH Guidance for health care providers regarding COVID-19 testing and specimen collection
- ADH Public Health Lab Guidance for COVID-19 Collection and Testing
- Quest COVID-19 Specimen Collection Guidelines
For more information on reporting click here.
How COVID-19 Spreads
Based on what is currently known, COVID-19 spreads mostly from person-to-person via respiratory droplets among close contacts.
Adhere to CDC recommendations for infection prevention and control (IPC):
- Assess and triage patients with acute respiratory symptoms and risk factors for COVID-19, including placing a facemask on the patient and using an Airborne Infection Isolation Room (AIIR), if available.
- Use standard precautions, contact precautions, and airborne precautions and eye protection.
- Perform hand hygiene with alcohol-based hand rub before and after all patient contact, contact with potentially infectious material, and before putting on and upon removal of PPE. Use soap and water if hands are visibly soiled.
- Learn more about proper use of PPE to prevent self-contamination.
- Perform aerosol-generating procedures, including collection of diagnostic respiratory specimens, in an AIIR, while following appropriate IPC practices, including use of appropriate PPE.
CDC has a webpage with additional guidelines on COVID-19 for health care professionals. CDC provides information on:
- Evaluating and Reporting PUI
- Infection Control
- Clinical Care
- Stratigize for Optimizing the Supply of N95 Respirators
- HCPs with Potential Exposure to COVID-19
- Preparedness Resources
- Implementing Home Care
- Supply of PPE
Global case numbers are reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) in their coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation report. For U.S. information, visit CDC’s COVID-19 in the U.S. This following location list is found here.
FDA has a hotline (1-888-INFO-FDA) available 24 hours a day for labs to call regarding difficulties obtaining supplies for collecting patient samples for COVID-19 testing, including swabs, media needed for transport, and conservation of the samples. Labs can reach out at CDRH-EUA-Templates@fda.hhs.gov with any questions related to diagnostic development.
- States are Now in Charge of Testing
- American Association of Family Practice Guidance
- FDA Frequently Asked Questions
- OSHA Temporary Enforcement Guidance - Healthcare Respiratory Protection Annual Fit-Testing for N95 Filtering Facepieces During the COVID-19 Outbreak
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Fact Sheet
- ADH Guidance for CMS 1135 Waiver
Additional COVID-19 Resources
- Physicians & Other Practitioners
- Teaching Hospitals
- Inpatient Rehabilitation Hospitals
- Long-term Care Hospitals
- Home Health Agencies
- Hospice Agencies
- Durable Medical Equipment
- Rural Health Clinics
- End Stage Renal Dialysis Facilities