Exposure FAQs

EXPOSURE FAQs

RETURN TO WORK

What steps should I follow if a patient or staff member has a suspected or confirmed case of COVID19?  How do I know when a staff person can come back to work?  

What if a person in my or employees' household has been recently diagnosed? Any restrictions on coming to work?  

My patient tested positive for COVID 2 days after visiting my clinic. 
Will the Health Department instruct me to self-quarantine for 14 days?      

TESTING
I was exposed to a COVID19 positive person and would like to get tested. What is the best time period to do this? 
OR
I started feeling ill today and suspect COVID19. When should I get tested? 
Where can I get a COVID-19 test?    

OFFICE PROTOCOLS  
What is my responsibility if I suspect COVID19 is spreading in my office?
 
How do I disinfect my office after a potential exposure to COVID-19?
 

What steps should I follow if a patient or staff member has a suspected or confirmed case of COVID19?  How do I know when a staff person can come back to work?

·  This checklist describes all the steps you should take in this situation.
·  It describes whom to contact, different scenarios based on whether contact with the infective person was less than or more than 7 days ago, and how to disinfect your office.
·  The CDC has recently changed its advice on how to determine when an infected person  can return to work. A symptom based strategy is now recommended over a testing based strategy.
·  Clinics with more than one confirmed or suspected case in a 14-day period  should contact their local public health jurisdiction within 24 hours. Here is the reporting form for King County.  

What if a person in your household has been recently diagnosed? Any restrictions on you coming to work?

CDC outlines symptom- or time-based strategies vs test-based strategy for determining when to return to work. Asymptomatic healthcare providers with known COVID exposure may be permitted to work to address staffing shortages.    

Where can I get a COVID19 test? The wait times seem excessive.

·         Here is a resource for free testing in King County.
·         Pierce County testing sites
·         Samples that are processed locally may have quicker turn-around times.
·         UW Virology Lab is one example.    

I was exposed to a COVID19 positive person and would like to get tested.

What is the best time period to do this? OR  

I started feeling ill today and suspect COVID19. When should I get tested?

  This study helps answer that question. See summary below.  
·  Much variability noted in testing over time for a C-19 positive individual. As health care providers, we want to minimize the false negative rate, to get the ok to go back to work.
·  The false negative rate is minimized 8 days after exposure
·  Since symptoms typically occur 5 days after exposure, this optimal testing window is 1-3 days after symptoms first occur, with 3 days post-symptom onset having the lowest false negative rate.
·  COVID19 testing done immediately after exposure may not yield accurate results. Symptoms suggest a higher risk of disease and should guide decisions even if testing is negative, as accuracy of testing depends on its timing.
·  This study is a literature review of previous studies, therefore not standardized.

My patient tested positive for COVID 2 days after visiting my clinic.  I am using a facemask but no PPE eye protection, just my regular glasses.  Will the Health Department instruct me to self-quarantine for 14 days?

  If the patient was wearing a cloth face covering or mask, you do not necessarily need to self quarantine for 14 days.  Per CDC guidelines, you should monitor yourself for symptoms.      

What is my responsibility if I suspect COVID19 is spreading in my office?

  Governor Inslee's clarification follows: Employers must notify the employer's local health jurisdiction within 24 hours if the employer suspects COVID-19 is spreading in the employer's workplace, or if the employer is aware of 2 or more employees who develop confirmed or suspected COVID-19 within a 14-day period .    

How do I disinfect my office after a potential exposure to COVID-19?

  Guidance from the CDC re: deep cleaning after confirmed COVID-19 exposure. The CDC recommends closing access to any areas in the office where the person was, increasing ventilation to the areas, delaying disinfection for 24 hrs or as long as practical, then using approved cleaners for all soft and hard surfaces.

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