Below are frequently asked questions regarding clinical safety and the measures we are taking during this COVID-19 outbreak.
Updated March 27:
Are these CDC recommendations for PPE changes due to shortages?
The evidence for the type of PPE needed for contact with COVID-19 confirmed or suspected patients has rapidly evolved, and our current recommendation is based on the best information available from the CDC and other reliable sources. The main change has been a shift in conservation of N95 respirator masks, as this has been the most critical shortage. Typically, these would be only used a single time, though along with many health systems across the country, we have developed a safe and effective way to disinfect and reuse these masks.
What is the process when a patient is discharged from an isolation room?
All COVID-19 confirmed or suspected cases get a “terminal” or thorough clean with our usual processes after discharge or transfer to another location, followed by Tru-D treatment with ultraviolet light.
What protection do gowns offer?
The yellow paper gowns do offer protection from droplets, though they should be replaced if they become torn or wet. We will begin transitioning some of our stock to reusable fabric gowns, though this is to conserve our disposable supply rather than due to concern of inadequate protection. The blue plastic gowns are for sterile procedures and should be reserved for those.
How will we be informed that a patient is being removed from isolation precautions? Is someone responsible for rounding up the unused PPE afterward so it doesn’t disappear?
The majority of our COVID-19 PUIs and confirmed cases are located on the same unit. In that unit, as soon as someone has a negative test, the signs are removed and the patient is promptly moved to another unit. The process is slightly different for ICU patients, though still conservative of PPE. For other patients on different forms of isolation throughout our hospital, we are removing precautions as soon as safe in appropriate situations.
Will I receive hazard or critical pay?
Pay rates are not being adjusted, as all caregivers are expected to give the highest quality care to all of our patients.
Have we received donations?
We’re fortunate to have received donations from several supporters, with more coming in each day. Our teams in Supply Chain are continuing to accept donated medical supplies, while staff in Volunteer Services have been coordinating non-medical and in-kind donations like food, with many donors choosing to remain anonymous.
For more updates, please continue to check our dedicated COVID-19 resource page.