Provide surgical masks
to all patients with symptoms of a respiratory illness. Provide instructions
on the proper use and disposal of masks.
For patients who cannot
wear a surgical mask, provide tissues and instructions on when to use them
(i.e., when coughing, sneezing, or controlling nasal secretions), how and
where to dispose of them, and the importance of hand hygiene after handling
materials in waiting room areas and encourage patients with respiratory symptoms
to perform hand hygiene.
Designate an area in
waiting rooms where patients with respiratory symptoms can be segregated (ideally
by at least 3 feet) from other patients who do not have respiratory symptoms.
As soon as possible,
place patients with respiratory symptoms in a private room or cubicle for
Implement use of surgical
or procedure masks by health care personnel during the evaluation of patients
with respiratory symptoms.
Consider the installation
of Plexiglas barriers at the point of triage or registration to protect health
care personnel from contact with respiratory droplets.
If no barriers are present,
instruct registration and triage staff to remain at least 3 feet from unmasked
patients and to consider wearing surgical masks during respiratory infection
Continue to use droplet
precautions to manage patients with respiratory systems until it is determined
that the cause of symptoms is not an infectious agent that requires precautions
beyond standard precautions.