On March 24, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) released the following guidance to reiterate and clarify guidance released on March 10, 2020 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health on March 11, 2020.
- Due to receipt of many questions regarding the CDC guidance for infection prevention and control in healthcare facilities updated on March 10, 2020, and issued by DOH on March 11, 2020, DOH has clarified specific points within the guidance by communicating directly with CDC.
- CDC and DOH recommend a combination of standard precautions and transmission-based precautions for COVID-19 patients including:
- Eye protection, gloves and gown;
- A filtering facepiece respirator (e.g., N95) is preferred; facemasks are an acceptable alternative if the supply chain of respirators cannot meet demand; and
- Patient placement in a single-person room with the door closed; reserve airborne isolation rooms for aerosol generating procedures.
- The supply chain for PPE continues to be severely strained across the nation. Facilities must evaluate their current stockpiles and supply chain to guide local decisions for PPE use and allocation.
- Implement PPE optimization strategies to extend supplies. See CDC guidance and checklist.
- Please report any confirmed cases of the COVID-19 by calling DOH at 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258) or your local health department.