What to do if you suspect your patient has COVID-19

If a patient meets the following criteria:

The indications for testing issued by the State Hygienic Lab and the Iowa Department of Public Health have been changing often. The current test criteria is listed below, but are subject to further changes over time:

  • Hospitalized patients with fever and respiratory failure and no alternate diagnosis
  • Older adults (>60 years of age) with fever and respiratory symptoms (cough, difficulty breathing) and chronic medical conditions (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, immunosuppressive medications, chronic lung disease, or chronic kidney disease)
  • Persons with fever or respiratory illness who live in congregate setting (i.e., long term care facilities, dormitories, residential facilities, correctional facilities, treatment facilities)
  • Essential services personnel with fever or respiratory illness (i.e., healthcare providers, fire and EMS, law enforcement, residential facility staff)

If your patient meets the criteria for testing, you can place an EPIC order for COVID-19 testing (“Novel Coronavirus COVID-19”).

Health care workers should follow the steps below for PPE when treating a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patient:

  1. Health care workers entering the patient room should follow standard precautions, contact precautions, and droplet precautions by wearing the following:
    • Gown
    • Gloves
    • Surgical mask
    • Goggles or face shield
  2. Limit access to the patient room to the minimum number of care providers.