ESP Personnel created this page as source of COVID-19 information for our healthcare professionals and facilities. As you know, the situation is rapidly evolving, and we will be updating this site with relevant information as we have it. The primary focus of this site is to provide answers to frequently asked questions and provides links to valuable information related to the Covid-19 outbreak. Our goal is to provides the essential information you need in order to continue to provide the care your patients need
ESP Clinical Staff
ESP Personnel extends its thanks and appreciation to our clinical staff providing critical patient care during these difficult times. We know you are working on the front lines battling this outbreak, caring for patients that need your expert care. We have provided the information below to keep you informed and help you make the right choices to ensure your own safety and the safety of your patients.
Note: Continue to check your state and local authorities and CDC Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage for the most current information.
COVID-19 – While on Assignment
- Equipment training and protocols should be provided by the facility.
- Refer to the facility’s policies and procedures for proper care and handling of COVID-19 patients.
- If you have any concerns, follow the chain of command at the facility to discuss and ensure you have the correct information. If additional support is needed, reach out to your designated ESP contact.
- Check this site often for the most up-to-date information.
CDC – Covid-19 Resources
- COVID-19 Information for Healthcare Professionals
- Clinical Care of COVID-19 Patients
- Evaluating and Testing Person(s) Under Investigation (PUI)
- Healthcare Supply of Personal Protective Equipment
- Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations
- Temporary Enforcement Guidance – Healthcare Respiratory Protection…During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Frequently Asked Questions
While the exact role of direct and indirect spread of coronaviruses between people that could be reduced by hand hygiene is unknown at this time, hand hygiene for infection prevention is an important part of the U.S. response to the international emergence of COVID-19.
CDC recommends the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol as the preferred form of hand hygiene in healthcare settings, based upon greater access to hand sanitizer. Health care providers who use alcohol-based hand sanitizers as part of their hand hygiene routine can inform patients that they are following CDC guidelines.
- If you cared for the patient but you used Personal Protective Equipment (mask, shield, gown and gloves), you have not been “exposed” by that patient, but you may still have been exposed in the community.
- Monitor your symptoms and temperature and STAY HOME IF YOU ARE ILL.
What personal protective equipment (PPE) should be worn by individuals transporting patients who are confirmed with or under investigation for COVID-19 within a healthcare facility? For example, what PPE should be worn when transporting a patient to radiology for imaging that cannot be performed in the patient room?
If transport personnel must prepare the patient for transport (e.g., transfer them to the wheelchair or gurney), transport personnel should wear all recommended PPE (gloves, a gown, respiratory protection that is at least as protective as a fit-tested NIOSH-certified disposable N95 filtering facepiece respirator or facemask—if a respirator is not available—and eye protection [i.e., goggles or disposable face shield that covers the front and sides of the face]). This recommendation is needed because these interactions typically involve close, often face-to-face, contact with the patient in an enclosed space (e.g., patient room). Once the patient has been transferred to the wheelchair or gurney (and prior to exiting the room), transporters should remove their gown, gloves, and eye protection and perform hand hygiene.
If the patient is wearing a facemask, no recommendation for PPE is made typically for HCP transporting patients with a respiratory infection from the patient’s room to the destination. However, given current limitations in knowledge regarding COVID-19 and following the currently cautious approach for risk stratification and monitoring of healthcare personnel caring for patients with COVID-19, use of a facemask by the transporter is recommended for anything more than brief encounters with COVID-19 patients. Additional PPE should not be required unless there is an anticipated need to provide medical assistance during transport (e.g., helping the patient replace a dislodged facemask).
After arrival at their destination, receiving personnel (e.g., in radiology) and the transporter (if assisting with transfer) should perform hand hygiene and wear all recommended PPE. If still wearing their original respirator or facemask, the transporter should take care to avoid self-contamination when donning the remainder of the recommended PPE. This cautious approach will be refined and updated as more information becomes available and as response needs change in the United States.
This public health response is an important opportunity to reinforce the importance of strict adherence to Standard Precautions during all patient encounters. Standard Precautions are based on the principles that all blood, body fluids, secretions, excretions except sweat, nonintact skin, and mucous membranes may contain transmissible infectious agents. The application of Standard Precautions is determined by the nature of the HCP-patient interaction and the extent of anticipated blood, body fluids, and pathogen exposure. For example, a facemask and eye protection should be worn during the care of any patient if splashes, sprays, or coughs could occur during the patient encounter. Similarly, gloves should be worn if contact with body fluids, mucous membranes, or nonintact skin are anticipated.
*Note: In addition to cough and shortness of breath, nonspecific symptoms such as sore throat, myalgia, fatigue, nausea, and diarrhea have been noted as initial symptoms in some cases of COVID-19. These symptoms can have several alternative explanations; however, failure to identify and implement proper precautions in a healthcare setting for persons infected with COVID-19 can contribute to widespread transmission in that facility due to the presence of susceptible patients and close interactions with healthcare personnel. For this reason, a lower temperature of 100.0oF and the inclusion of mild and non-specific symptoms should be used by healthcare settings evaluating these patients to increase the ability to detect even mild cases of COVID-19.
- Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home.
- There is no treatment specifically approved for this virus.
- Testing results may be helpful to inform decision-making about who you come in contact with.
CDC has guidance for who should be tested, but decisions about testing are at the discretion of state and local health departments and/or individual clinicians.
- Clinicians should work with their state and local health departments to coordinate testing through public health laboratories, or work with clinical or commercial laboratories.
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.