What you need to know: 2019 Novel Coronavirus

Contents:

Support for employees and students

Patient Safety Alerts

What you need to know

What to look for

Outside news stories

Resources


This page has up-to-date information and resources available about this outbreak. Don’t see something you’d like to know? Email feedback to noon-news@uiowa.edu.

An outbreak of a novel coronavirus has recently emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Confirmed cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) have now been reported in the U.S. There are currently no confirmed cases anywhere in Iowa; however, we are fully prepared to diagnose and treat any potential patient who might be infected with this virus should the need arise.

Do you have questions about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus? Direct questions to Hospital Epidemiology by calling 319-356-1606 or by paging 3158.

UPDATES

Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020

Action required: Isolation precautions and personal protective equipment

As the 2019 Novel Coronavirus situation evolves, we continue to evaluate and update our plans and supplies.

As an added measure, we are asking that only essential members of the healthcare team enter the rooms of patients who are in isolation precautions. This is a precautionary measure to conserve and ensure our supply of personal protective equipment (PPE)—such as gowns, masks, gloves, and respirators—is adequate.

Friday, Jan. 31, 2020

Employees and volunteers returning to work after travel to China: 

At this time, we are asking UI Health Care employees and volunteers who are returning to work within 14 days of their return from China to:

  • Please contact University Employee Health Clinic at 319-356-3631 prior to returning to work. If you are currently at work after recent return from China, please contact University Employee Health Clinic immediately.
  • After business hours and on weekends, please contact the Program of Hospital Epidemiology by paging 3158.

Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020:

Q&A with hospital epidemiologist Jorge Salinas, MD


Support for employees and students

It is important we be mindful and supportive of our colleagues and students with ties to China who may be concerned for family and friends impacted by the outbreak. Those in need of additional support should reach out to our campus resources as listed below:

Patient Safety Alerts

What you need to know:

Employees returning to work after travel to China: 

At this time, we are asking UI Health Care employees who are returning to work within 14 days of their return from China to:

  • Please contact University Employee Health Clinic at 319-356-3631 prior to returning to work. If you are currently at work after recent return from China, please contact University Employee Health Clinic immediately.
  • After business hours and on weekends, please contact the Program of Hospital Epidemiology by paging 3158.

Testing: The currently available Respiratory Pathogen Panel does not detect the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). If your patient tests positive for coronavirus by this panel, they do not have COVID-19. If you suspect that your patient is infected with COVID-19, contact the Program of Hospital Epidemiology by paging 3158, who will be able to assist in ordering the necessary test through the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH).

Travel screening: The Program of Hospital Epidemiology has updated Epic travel screening to include China, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for COVID-19.

What to look for:

Clinical symptoms associated with 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) include:

  • Uncomplicated illness: fever, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, malaise, headache, muscle pain, or malaise
  • Mild pneumonia
  • Severe pneumonia
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • Sepsis or septic shock

If a patient presents with onset of fever, cough, or shortness of breath and has traveled to China within the past 14 days or has had contact with an individual with laboratory confirmed 2019 Novel Coronavirus:

  1. Place a surgical mask on the patient and move the patient to a private room (airborne isolation room if available).
  2. Immediately contact the Program of Hospital Epidemiology by paging 3158.
  3. Health care workers entering the patient room should follow standard precautions, contact precautions, and airborne precautions by wearing the following:
    • Gown
    • Gloves
    • N95 respirator mask or CAPR (controlled air purifying respirator)
    • Goggles or face shield
  4. Limit access to the patient room to the minimum number of care providers.

Please direct any questions to the Program of Hospital Epidemiology by calling 319-356-1606, paging 3158, or contact hospital epidemiologists Jorge Salinas (jorge-salinas@uiowa.edu), Dan Diekema (daniel-diekema@uiowa.edu), or Melanie Wellington (melanie-wellington@uiowa.edu).

Outside news stories

Resources

University of Iowa resources

2019 Novel Coronavirus updates

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) resources

Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) resources

World Health Organization (WHO) resources

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