LA PORTE, Texas – As concerns over the coronavirus spreading in the U.S. grow, workers at a Houston-area clinic showed the plan they would follow if a patient who is believed to have the illness were to arrive at the facility.
American Family Care Urgent Care Clinic in La Porte said that the patient’s symptoms and travel history would likely be the first signal to workers that the plan would need to be activated.
Davita Hall, who works at the clinic, said she would first put on a mask and immediately meet the patient at the front desk. She said she would place a mask on the patient, as well.
“You want to place the mask on correctly, and you also want it fitted correctly because if it’s not, the particles are going to escape into the air,” Hall said. “So, the layperson may not know how to fit the mask to their face in order to provide the correct seal.”
The patient wouldn’t be allowed to sit in the waiting room. Instead, doctors and nurses would place the patient into an isolation room. Workers would don a gown, gloves and the N95 mask, the only mask believed to protect against the virus, when working in the isolation room.
Hall said she would take the patient’s temperature and vitals, and she would also conduct an interview to confirm if there is a reason to suspect coronavirus. If all that information indicates coronavirus as a possible cause for the patient’s illness, the authorities are called.
“(We would call) our local health department, possibly the CDC, for further guidance,” Hall said.
The patient wouldn’t be allowed to leave until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determines where they would be placed into quarantine.
Everything that the patient touches that can’t be sanitized will be thrown away, such as pens and blood pressure cuffs.
Symptoms of COVID-19, the proper name of this version of coronavirus, include a runny nose, cough, sore throat, headache and a fever that can last for a couple of days.