Late last night, we were notified by the Health Department that we have a patient in our facility who tested positive for COVID-19. We are following CDC guidelines and the patient is in isolation. Our top priority is your safety and the safety of our staff and patients.
Our colleagues and physicians are well equipped and well trained to treat patients with infectious diseases.
Here are some questions you may have:
Is it safe for me to go to work if a patient in my facility has COVID-19?
Yes. There is no evidence of the virus spreading in a setting where proper precautions are used: patient isolation, use of N95 masks (where appropriate) and activation of personal protection equipment (PPE). Evidence also indicates that the route of transmission is respiratory; we know how to contain respiratory viruses via precautions mentioned above.
How are you ensuring that surface areas in contact with a positive patient have been disinfected?
COVID-19 virus can be easily killed with standard disinfecting procedures. We are ensuring that environmental cleaning and disinfection procedures from the CDC are followed. This includes:
Routine cleaning and disinfection procedures. This includes those patient-care areas in which aerosol-generating procedures are performed.
For any isolation patient, machines are to be cleaned in the room and then taken out and cleaned again. Personnel cleaning the machine must wear gloves.
Now that a patient has tested positive for COVID-19, what happens next?
We will continue to monitor the patient closely with direction from the CDC. The patient will remain in isolation and we are utilizing PPE procedures.
Will there be routine testing for staff now?
No. Staff and physicians coming into contact with the patient are wearing PPE. Our staff are following infection prevention protocols, including the latest guidance from the CDC. We have also utilized a two-person system to ensure proper PPE procedures have been followed when applying and removing protective gear.
What precautions should I take at work?
All of our caregivers need to hold each other accountable for performing good hand hygiene and using PPE appropriately and properly.
Where can I get more information about COVID-19?
Check out https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
I want you to know that I appreciate your extraordinary efforts to care for and protect our patients, each other and our community.
jane mondadori, director
medical staff services
Francis D. Ong, M.D.
Cosmetic and Plastic Reconstructive Surgery
Hand and Microsurgery
Telephone: (904) 213-9005
Fax: (904) 213-9010