Who is at risk for COVID-19?

Those at greatest risk of infection are persons who have had prolonged, unprotected close contact with a patient with symptomatic, confirmed COVID-19 and those who live in or have recently been to areas with sustained transmission.

Who is at risk for severe disease from COVID-19?

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) adversely affects older adults and persons with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems. This population is at greater risk for severe illness from this virus.

What steps can be taken to limit exposure to patients?

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) can recommend steps for implementing screenings of all visitors and employees. The following criteria can be adapted, as needed, into hospital policy:

  • Screen for temperatures of 100.4ºF or greater
  • Screen for signs, symptoms, or potential exposures:
    • Do you have a cough or shortness of breath?
    • Do you have other symptoms that seem like flu or pneumonia?
    • Have you traveled out of state or out of the country in the last 14 days? Where did you travel?
    • In the last 14 days, have you had contact with anyone who has had lab-confirmed COVID-19?

Hospitals may also choose to require individuals meeting the criteria to wear masks or other personal protective equipment or limit access to some or all sections of the hospital.

Whom should facility staff notify if they suspect a patient has a COVID-19?

Please contact the ADH Outbreak Response staff immediately by calling:

  • 501-537-8969 Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:30pm, or
  • 1-800-554-5738 after hours or on weekends for any assistance
  • Arkansas symptom hotline: 800-632-4502

How should healthcare personal protect themselves when evaluating a patient who may have COVID-19?

CDC and ADH currently recommend a cautious approach for persons under investigation (PUI). Healthcare personnel evaluating PUI or providing care for patients with confirmed COVID-19 should use Standard Transmission-based Precautions. Visit CDC website to view the full infection prevention and control recommendations from CDC.

How do you test a patient for COVID-19?

Please refer to CDC’s Interim Guidance for Healthcare Professionals here.

Do patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 need to be admitted to the hospital?

This determination should be made on a case-by-case basis. The decision will depend not only on clinical presentation, but also on the patient’s ability to engage in monitoring, the ability for safe isolation at home, and the risk of transmission in the patient’s home environment.

Visitor screening tool: CLICK HERE

Information provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.