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What to Do If a Staff Member or Patient Tests Positive

By Joey Berlin

Originally published on the Texas Medical Association website.

As cases of COVID-19 continue to climb, the greater the chance it will find its way to your office. If it hasn’t happened already, no doubt you’ve been bracing for that possibility for months.

The Texas Medical Association is here to make sure you’re prepared.

The TMA COVID-19 Task Force has created a guide for what to do when someone in your office – whether a staff member or a patient – tests positive for the disease. The guide includes links to important information on disinfection, work-restriction, and legal and ethical resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Texas law, and more.

TMA’s guide explains three steps to take following a positive test:

  1. Follow routine cleaning and disinfection procedures – The guide contains links for recommended environmental control and personal protective equipment (PPE) practices from CDC and EPA.
  2. Notify your staff of the potential exposure, and implement appropriate work restrictions – The document includes an adaptation of CDC’s Healthcare Personnel Assessment Guide, which breaks down how to handle at-risk staff members, plus tips on determining when people with confirmed COVID-19 may have become infectious.
  3. Notify any patients who might have been exposed and recommend appropriate public health guidance – Included is an adaptation of CDC’s Public Health Guidance for Community-Related Exposure chart, as well as links to ethical and legal guidance on patient privacy laws and regulations.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

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