Fam Pract Manag. 2020 May-June;27(3):32.
- CHECK FOR COVID-19 UPDATES ON HOME ISOLATION AND WORK NOTES
- ASK PATIENTS TO SUBMIT VITALS BEFORE TELEHEALTH
- ADAPT YOUR DOCUMENTATION SETUP FOR TELEHEALTH
CHECK FOR COVID-19 UPDATES ON HOME ISOLATION AND WORK NOTES
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, physicians may face questions from recovering COVID-19 patients about when they can leave isolation and return to daily activities.
As of May 3, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on this topic includes two options: one with testing and one without.
For patients with access to testing, the CDC recommends they remain in isolation until they have an improvement of respiratory symptoms (cough and shortness of breath), no fever (without fever-reducing medications), and two negative test results from consecutive nasopharyngeal swabs taken at least 24 hours apart. (This is contingent, of course, on the availability of testing in your area.) Patients who tested positive for COVID-19 but never showed symptoms should wait until it's been 10 days since their positive test result.
For patients without access to testing, the CDC recommends they stay in isolation until it's been at least 10 days since their symptoms appeared, and at least 72 hours since their fever resolved (without fever-reducing medications) and respiratory symptoms began to improve.
Some patients may request notes for their employer, either confirming they tested positive for COVID-19 or confirming they have been cleared to return to work. The CDC's guidance, as of April 15, is that employers should not require such documentation because health care providers may be extremely busy during this national public health emergency. A script containing this guidance that your staff can use to respond to patient calls and emails may be useful to lighten the workload.
CDC guidance on this and other topics continues to evolve, so it's a good idea to spend some time each day on the CDC website, as well as state and local health department websites checking
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
Practice Pearls presents readers' advice on practice operations and patient care, along with tips drawn from the literature. Send us your best pearl (250 words of less), and you'll earn $50 if we publish it. We also welcome questions for our Q&A section. Send pearls, questions, and comments to email@example.com, or add your comments below.
Copyright © 2020 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for copyright questions and/or permission requests.
Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions
More in FPM