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Information for Healthcare Facilities Concerning Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

On February 6, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a public Memo: Information for Healthcare Facilities Concerning 2019 Novel Coronavirus Illness (2019-nCoV)*. The memo provides information related to patients with possible Coronavirus Illness and expectations of healthcare facilities.

Summary: The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is currently advising adherence to Standard, Contact, and Airborne Precautions, including the use of eye protection. Healthcare staff should also adhere to CDC recommendations on standard hand hygiene practices, using alcohol-based hand rub/hand sanitizer (ABHR/ABHS) as the preferred method of hand hygiene in most clinical situations. It is also encouraged that facilities review the use and availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, gowns, respirators, and eye protection.

CMS also strongly urges the review of CDC’s guidance and encourages facilities to review their own infection prevention and control policies and practices to prevent the spread of infection. Invaluable links to the CDC and other vital resources are included in the full Memo. Each facility is encouraged to read the full memo and complete a self-assessment on its preparedness for any potential encounters with this virus. Any questions about information contained in the memo can be directed to QSOG_EmergencyPrep@cms.hhs.gov.

The CDC created a Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Risk Assessment and Public Health Management Decision Making handout which can be easily printed and distributed. A Patient Under Investigation (PUI) form has also been released for use. A Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary is available on the CDC website.

*On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV.”

Updated February 25, 2020