Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

General Information

  • Coronaviruses make up a large family of viruses, some of which cause illness in humans

  • COVID-19 is the name of the respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus, known as SARS-CoV-2

Transmission occurs via droplet and contact. Most commonly spread from an infected person through:

  • Coughing and sneezing

  • Close personal contact, touching, or shaking hands

  • Touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands.

Airborne spread is NOT known to occur outside of aerosol-generating medical procedures (AGMPs)

  • Intubation and extubation procedures

  • High frequency oscillary ventilation

  • Bronchoscopy and Bronchoalveolar lavage

  • Laryngoscopy

  • Positive pressure ventilation: BIPAP, CPAP

  • High-flow heated humidity oxygen therapy (e.g. AIRVO, OptiFlow) (NOTE: Non-humidified oxygen delivered through nasal prongs and/or non-rebreather masks are NOT an AGMP, regardless of flow rate)

  • Induced sputum

  • CPR with bag valve mask ventilation

  • Tracheostomy insertion/care**/tube change/decannulation (care does not include dressing changes or tie changes)

  • Tracheotomy

  • Nasopharyngeal aspirates, washes and scopes (not a nasopharygeal swab)

  • Autopsies involving respiratory tissues

  • Open airway suctioning

  • Break in closed ventilation system

  • Administration of nebulized medications: Avoid the use of nebulizer if possible. Use of alternatives such as meter-dose inhaler with spacer are preferable

  • Fever, chills

  • Cough or worsening of a previous cough

  • Sore throat

  • Headache

  • Shortness of breath or other respiratory symptoms

  • Muscle aches

  • Sneezing

  • Nasal congestion/runny nose

  • Hoarse voice

  • Diarrhea

  • Unusual fatigue

  • Loss of sense of smell or taste

  • Red, purple or blueish lesions, on the feet, toes or fingers without clear cause

  • Hospitalization is not required for mild presentations unless there is concern for rapid deterioration, an inability to return promptly to hospital, or a Public Health contraindication.

  • Patients should be aware of potential progression in symptoms and when / how to seek medical attention.

  • Confirm there are no Public Health contraindications to discharge (e.g. homeless, living in a group home or shelter, cohabitation with a high−risk individual without ability to self−isolate in the home).

  • Review follow up process by Public Health.

  • Review self-isolation practices and principles of personal hygiene with patient and family.

Infection Prevention and Control

More Information

  • Guideline adapted from the Fraser Health Antimicrobial Stewardship Program

  • Content Adapted from Saskatchewan Health Authority

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