With COVID-19 cases rising in recent weeks, an anticipated holiday surge in cases and the impending flu season, we want to advise our friends inside and outside the healthcare community regarding potential ways to stay safe.
An article released Thursday in The Daily Memphian stated that 22% of COVID-19 cases in Shelby County were among healthcare workers. It is important to note that Shelby County Health Department presumes these infections are occurring outside of patient rooms, when clinical staff may have removed PPE in a “relaxed” setting.
What to Do in the Clinical Workplace
- Reinforce proper hand washing, even in non-clinical areas. Project Firstline, a collaboration of the CDC and several healthcare associations offers training modules for hand washing and other safety needs. Another module aimed at outpatient clinics is forthcoming. Learn more at https://www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/projectfirstline/index.html
- Strongly consider the use of weekly Assurance Testing. Two local laboratories, Poplar Healthcare and AEL, have the capacity to offer pod-based, self-administered assurance testing. This testing method is growing in use and can serve as a lower-cost option to conduct asymptomatic testing and help limit the spread of infection. Learn more at
- Continue to screen and triage all who enter your facility.
- Begin or continue to utilize telehealth to see patients when possible.
What to Do at Home and in the Community
- Get your flu shot. Plain and simple.
- Consider limiting or eliminating in-person holiday gatherings.While this may be the most difficult of all requests, healthcare workers have a great responsibility in keeping our community safe. Family is community and community is family.
- Keep observing social distancing guidelines.
- Notify your workplace if you are symptomatic or have been in close contact with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.
Last, but not least: Wear Your Mask! Data supports that mask wearing is one of the best ways to limit the spread.
We will beat this virus. The resilience our healthcare community has already shown is proof of that. Let’s continue to lead our community with that resilience.
Thank you for all you have done and continue to do.