As COVID-19 progresses through the United States, including recent developments in Kansas, the Kansas Pharmacists Association thought it timely to send out the following reminders and suggestions.
- Physician offices and pharmacists alike, who offer point-of-care flu testing, will be at risk from coronavirus because of the similarities of the illnesses.
- Anyone (including community pharmacists) testing for flu should use appropriate personal protective equipment to include a face shield or goggles, gloves and probably a mask (n95 mask).
- All patients who enter a pharmacy or physician clinic and have respiratory symptoms should be triaged in a way that prevents spread of illness to other patients or employees of the healthcare facility. Based on history or testing, they may need to be referred elsewhere.
- Pharmacies should utilize signs on the doors or messaging through social media / text messages to encourage patients with respiratory symptoms to use the drive through window or medication delivery rather than enter the pharmacy.
CDC guidance to prevent infection of pharmacists from COVID-19
Q: How should healthcare personnel protect themselves when evaluating a patient who may have COVID-19?
A: Although the transmission dynamics have yet to be determined, CDC currently recommends a cautious approach to persons under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19. Healthcare personnel evaluating PUI or providing care for patients with confirmed COVID-19 should use Standard Precautions, Contact Precautions, Airborne Precautions, and use eye protection (e.g., goggles or a face shield).