Health Professionals

COVID-19 continues to be widespread in Orange County. For the latest surveillance data, visit https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/coronavirus-in-oc. Health professionals who wish to receive OC Health Care Agency (HCA) provider advisories can register HERE.

 

Testing Recommendations

OCHCA recommends that providers emphasize testing of High Priority groups as defined by the CDC. This includes hospitalized patients, symptomatic healthcare workers, and symptomatic residents and staff of congregate living facilities including skilled nursing facilities, assisted living sites, and correctional facilities. Providers can consider testing additional groups identified by the CDC, including symptomatic persons 65 and older and symptomatic persons with underlying health conditions, as commercial testing capacity allows.

OCHCA can assist with testing the highest risk groups, including hospitalized patients, symptomatic healthcare workers and symptomatic residents and staff of congregate living facilities; results from OCHCA's Public Health Laboratory can return SUBSTANTIALLY sooner than commercial labs. Please call (714) 834-8180 to arrange testing.

Providers should only test persons with symptoms compatible with COVID-19 when a diagnostic result will change clinical management or inform public health response. Testing mildly ill ambulatory patients usually does not change management but depletes scarce PPE supplies and testing resources, and unnecessarily exposes other patients and healthcare personnel (HCP) to infection.

 

Provider Reporting

Providers should report hospitalized patients, deaths, and any suspect or confirmed cases who are homeless or living in congregate living settings within one business day to (714) 834-8180. Clinical laboratories are routinely reporting COVID-19 positive test results to OCHCA. Providers do not need to contact OCHCA with COVID-19 positive cases who do not fit into the categories above.

 

Isolation and Quarantine Precaution Guidance

Providers should provide isolation guidance to patients with COVID-19 infection as well as recommendations for exposed household members and caregivers.

Patients can discontinue home isolation precautions when they have been afebrile for at least 72 hours without the use of antipyretics AND other symptoms have improved AND at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. OCHCA also recommends that isolation precautions for patients who have been hospitalized be continued until at least 10 days after discharge and the standards above have been met. See links below:

 

Discharge of COVID-19 Hospitalized Patients to Congregate Living Facilities for the Elderly

For any hospitalized COVID-19 patients that may be candidates for discharge to congregate living facilities such as Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs), providers should contact OCHCA at (714) 834-8180 to assure an appropriate transfer. For more information, see:

 

Decontamination and Reuse of N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators

Personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages in the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic pose a tremendous challenge to the US healthcare system. Facilities can find PPE optimization strategies provided by the CDC:

 

Resources for Providers:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guidance - Resources

Visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for FAQs: Healthcare Professionals: FAQ and Answers (5/6/20)

California Department of Public Health - Resources

More Resources

Resources for Dentists: