Patients with severe symptoms should be directed to the emergency department. Otherwise, patients should be instructed to self-isolate until further discussion with their primary care provider.
Patients should be offered an assessment by video or phone, ideally on the same day. This discussion should include a thorough history-taking and assessment of symptoms and managing them, even if COVID-19 testing is being considered as part of the diagnostic plan.
Patients should be provided with a surgical/procedure mask and be advised to perform hand hygiene. Ensure patients do not leave their masks in waiting areas.
Patients should be immediately placed in an exam room alone with the door closed to avoid contact with other patients the office/clinic. If the is not possible, instruct patients to return outside (e.g. vehicle or parking lot, if available and appropriate) and inform them they will be texted or called when a room becomes available.
Patients should be provided with hand sanitizer (if available), access to tissue and a hands-free waste receptacle for their used tissues and used masks.
Instruct patients to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing and sneezing, dispose of the tissue in the receptacle and to use the hand sanitizer right afterwards. Patients may also be instructed to take their surgical/procedure mask home with them with instructions for doffing masks.