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LAC DPH Health Update: COVID-19 Updates June 2, 2020

LAC DPH Health Update: COVID-19 Updates June 2, 2020

Key Messages

  • With the relaxation of Safer at Home orders allowing more businesses and workplaces to reopen, it is important to emphasize to patients the importance of personal prevention actions including wearing a face covering, physical distancing, and handwashing. View Prevention Materials.
  • All laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and their close contacts will be contacted by LAC DPH for an interview. Please provide accurate patient contact information on laboratory test requisition forms and on the COVID-19 case report form. Please ask your patients to be responsive to LAC DPH calls. See Facilitating Contact Tracing for Laboratory-Confirmed Cases below.
  • Healthcare providers should continue to instruct outpatients with presumed or suspected COVID-19 to immediately follow home isolation instructions and to give all of their close contacts home quarantine instructions. Please make note that the definition of a close contact has been revised. See Providing Isolation and Quarantine Instructions below.
  • LAC DPH now recommends the testing of asymptomatic close contacts of a confirmed case. In the absence of a known exposure, however, routine testing of asymptomatic persons in the general population is still not recommended. See Expanded DPH Testing Recommendations below.

Updates

  • Serology tests: Both the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the CDC have released guidance on the use of serology tests. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now publishing serology test performance data on all authorized tests. For a summary of updates, see Serology Test Updates below.
  • Direct viral detection methods: The FDA has recently issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the first antigen test and anticipates more will be authorized soon. While antigen tests are often faster and simpler to run than molecular (e.g. PCR) tests, they are less sensitive.
  • COVID Watch: LAC DPH is now publishing COVID Watch, a summary of COVID-19 related surveillance. It includes data on pneumonia, influenza, and COVID-19 mortality as well as emergency department visits for influenza-like illness.
  • SARS CoV-2 Reinfection Study: Clinicians are asked to report suspected cases of reinfection with SARS CoV-2 to LAC DPH to inform a CDC/Emerging Infections Network reinfection study. See CDC SARS CoV-2 reinfection study for more information.

Situation

With the relaxation of Safer at Home orders allowing more businesses and workplaces to reopen as well as the mass protests that are ongoing in LA County, the potential for community transmission of COVID-19 will increase. In order to prevent a new surge in hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19, it is critical that we remind everyone of the need to redouble our prevention and control efforts during this time.

LAC DPH is grateful for your continued partnership in the response to this pandemic.

 

Facilitating Contact Tracing for Laboratory-Confirmed Cases

When a patient has laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, healthcare providers can help LAC DPH to improve the effectiveness of contact tracing by:

  • Confirming and including the patient’s current phone number(s) and current address when completing the laboratory test requisition form on which you are requesting SARS CoV-2 testing and when submitting the Medical Provider COVID-19 Report Form.
  • Informing the patient that they will be contacted by LA County Public Health, why this is important, and what to expect:
    • A public health specialist from LA County Public Health will attempt to contact the patient by phone in order to interview them about possible exposures and to identify others who may have also been exposed to the infection (contact tracing). They will leave a call back number if necessary. If they cannot reach the patient, they will send a letter. Please encourage your patients to answer LA County Public Health's calls and to call them back if they receive a message.
    • Reassure your patient that LA County Public Health will not disclose your patient’s name or any personal information to their close contacts. Contacts will be advised to be tested for COVID-19 if appropriate.
    • LA County Public Health will also provide information to cases and contacts about how to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 and information about resources for delivery of essentials such as food and medicines if needed.
    • Beware of scammers doing fake contact tracing. LA County Public Health will never ask about immigration status, never request a social security number, and never ask for money.

 

View full LAHAN Health Alert Here