IPCWell - Infection Control Consultant & Expert - United States

As of May 4, 2020, the US now has 1,122,486 (29,671 new) COVID-19 cases with 65,735 (1,452 new) deaths. Yesterday, I welcomed the arrival of my grandson Adrian van Duuren. 8 lbs 9 oz, 21 inches long. I have not been able to see or hold him yet as only my daughters’ husband could be in the hospital. What a time it is to have a baby. The world is not as we know it. “Toto, we are not in Kansas anymore!!”

This past week also brought me to another milestone as I completed my doctorate degree in Public Health and Epidemiology. I am now Dr. Buffy.

Two beautiful, joyous, celebratory life changing events. I am empathetic to the fact that amidst the good there is also much pain and suffering occurring daily. Please know that at IPCWell we are working night and day behind the scenes to provide solutions to your challenges. This week, we will be piloting a program to get our clients essential Personal Protective Equipment. Stay tuned for details as we get this underway.

This week’s update will continue to focus on Re-Opening America and testing protocols. If there is a topic that you would like us to research and share with our community, please do not hesitate to let us know. Chances are if you have a question many other do as well.

Finally, IPCWell has begun a grassroots Advocacy group to support healthcare settings such as yours! But we cannot do this alone. Please consider joining our group (spread the word… you don’t have to work in healthcare to participate)

Return to Work Protocols:

  • According to CDC, it is suggested that test-based strategies are preferred for return to work protocols. Staff should be included from work until:
      • Resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, and
      • Improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), and
      • Negative results of an FDA Emergency Use Authorized molecular assay for COVID19 from at least two consecutive nasopharyngeal swab specimens collected ≥24 hours apart (total of two negative specimens)
  • The alternative to the test-based strategy for excluding staff returning to work is:
      • At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery, defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and,
      • At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

Elective Surgeries:

  • For Arizona facilities, check out the EO FAQ’s for beginning elective surgeries.
  • For clients outside of AZ, please check here for your state specific COVID-19 EO.

Personal Protective Equipment: IPWell’s PPE Campaign

  • If you are short on PPE and have reached out to your vendors and local public health, and are still short. Please email IPCWell at admin@ipcwell.com.
  • If you can donate PPE, please email admin@icpwell.com.
  • One solution to disposable gowns are launderable gowns (lab coats). You can contact Adam Deas with CINTAS, to request a very AFFORDABLE option for gowns.
  • If you are in need of N-95 fit testing, you can contact Karin Pena, with CINTAS.

Lab Testing/ Antibody Testing:

Persons identified by public health officials or clinicians as high priority

  • Persons with symptoms of a possible infection with COVID-19, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, new loss of taste or smell, vomiting or diarrhea, and/or sore throat.
  • Persons without symptoms who come from racial and ethnic minority groups disproportionately affected by adverse COVID-19 outcomes-currently African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, some American Indian tribes (e.g., Navajo Nation).
  • Persons without symptoms who are prioritized by health departments or clinicians, including but not limited to:  public health monitoring, sentinel surveillance, presence of underlying medical condition or disability, residency in a congregate housing setting such as a homeless shelter or long term care facility, or screening of other asymptomatic individuals according to state and local plans.
  • Clinicians considering diagnostic testing of people with possible COVID-19 should continue to work with their local and state health departments to coordinate testing through public health laboratories, or work with commercial or clinical laboratories using diagnostic tests authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  • CDC does not currently recommend using antibody testing alone for diagnostic purposes.