Novel Coronavirus Recommendations


As most of you are probably aware, there are concerns with the novel coronavirus potential outbreak in the news. What would I do if a case comes into my office? What precautions should I undertake in my practice as a healthcare practitioner? These questions and many other might come to mind.

The NYSCA clinical practice committee wanted to provide some evidence-based recommendations to educate and guide our members.

First off, the novel coronavirus is a previous unidentified virus originating in Wuhan City, China. The known cases in New York state (as of 03/08/2020) are in the counties of Westchester, New York City, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, Ulster, and Saratoga Counties.  

The virus can be spread person to person through respiratory droplets.  Currently there is no proof of transmission via food. Transmission is possible via touching a surface with the virus on it and contacting your nose, mouth, or possibly through one’s eyes. People who are immunocompromised and older adults are more likely to suffer severe effects of the disease.

In order to protect you and your patients and reduce risk of transmission you should:

  1. Avoid contact with people who are sick, if possible.
  2. Stay home if one is sick.
  3. Avoid contacting eyes, nose, or mouth.
  4. Wash your hands with soap and water (20 seconds) and/or sanitize with an alcohol based (60%) hand sanitizer
  5. Disinfect tables, doorknobs, railings, clipboards, instruments and regularly used objects.
  6. Cover your coughing or sneeze with the crook of your arm or tissue thrown into the trash immediately.

The CDC does not recommend that well people wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases. The CDC does recommend that people who show symptoms of the coronavirus to help prevent the spread of the disease to others use facemasks.

The virus can be detected via testing of specimens from the respiratory tract, blood and stool. If doctors suspect a patient could have novel coronavirus they should implement recommended infection prevention and control practices. If providers need assistance, they should contact state and local health departments for direction.

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