Updates and New Guidance on Coronavirus

 Friday, February 7, 2020

There are several new actions and updates on the coronavirus that came out this week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidance for patients under investigation or with confirmed coronavirus in healthcare settings. The guidance includes eight recommendations for healthcare facilities to take before, during, and after a patient is investigated or diagnosed with the virus.

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) issued new public guidance for individuals who have traveled from mainland China since Jan. 22. Those that did travel to the U.S. from mainland China during the noted time period are asked to promptly contact the ADPH Infectious Diseases and Outbreaks Division upon return to the U.S.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is now working to develop a coronavirus treatment that will reduce the virus’ ability to infect human cells. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency authorization allowing qualified public health labs to use the CDC coronavirus diagnostic panel. Two hundred testing kits were shipped this week to qualified state and local U.S. public health laboratories, while 200 others were shipped to international laboratories. Each kit is able to test 700-800 patient samples.

Finally, AlaHA hosted a webinar this week with ADPH to share updates and address questions or concerns from hospitals statewide. Some additional information was sent to hospital quality and infection preventionists yesterday related to helping to contain the spread by working closely with urgent care centers and physician clinics. Hospitals were also instructed to order flu surveillance kits from ADPH in the event a person meeting the screening criteria presents to a hospital and the hospital does not have the required collection supplies. Click here to view a recording of the webinar (you will need to register to watch).  Don’t hesitate to reach out to Margaret Borders or Rosemary Blackmon with any additional questions or concerns.

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