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Health Alerts

Posted on: March 3, 2020

March 3 COVID-19 Updated Guidance for Clinicians

•    Surveillance data through March 2, 2020

Confirmed cases1
Presumptive cases (RT-PCR+ @ DOH; CDC pending)5
Testing pending14

  • Updated tool for patient triage attached.
  • COVID-19 testing is now commercially available through the University of Washington 
    • Information page:
    • Requisition form:
    • The University of Washington Department of Laboratory Medicine is now offering the same SARS-CoV RT-PCR test provided by the Washington State Public Health Laboratories (PHL).  Specimens with positive results will be forwarded to the PHL for confirmation. Submission of specimens through this venue does not require vetting by public health. We encourage you to consider use of the attached triage tool and continued reference previously distributed guidance on testing criteria:
    • If you test a patient for COVID-19, you should direct them to remain isolated at home. Any ill household contact should also stay home. Well household contacts will be managed depending on the results of the tested patient, with quarantine for well household contacts of infected patients. 
    • Call SHD at 425-339-5278 to report positive results to us. We do not need to hear about negative results unless we have specifically asked.
  • Many settings are reporting high patient loads, high demands for testing, limited capacity to evaluate patients in the absence of airborne isolation rooms, and diminishing stocks of PPE. As an interim (and likely long-term) measure, we encourage you use telephone triage, tele-health services, and other means you deem appropriate to reduce visits by patients whose clinical condition does not appear to necessitate urgent care.  We do not have direct influence on or immediate remedies for the PPE supply problem. For the time being can only encourage you to conserve its use according to standing recommendations: 
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced a Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) Call on March 5 at 2 p.m. EST. During this COCA Call, clinicians will learn what they can do to prepare for COVID-19, including identifying persons under investigation, applying infection prevention and control measures, assessing risks for exposures, optimizing the use of personal protective equipment supplies, and managing and caring for patients (inpatient and at home). Register to attend the call: There will be a web on demand version of the call available after the live event.
  • We will provide updates as information and guidance coming to us from the Washington State Department of Health evolves.

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