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LAC DPH Alert: Preserving Critical Supplies and Resources; New COVID-19 Mortality Reporting

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LAC DPH) issued a health alert on March 25, 2020 that urges health care providers and clinics to prepare for a surge of newly infected patients.

This includes reducing non-essential COVID-19 testing; discontinuing nonessential appointments, procedures, and clinics that require PPE; and following CDC contingency strategies for optimizing PPE.

Read the full LAC DPH Health Alert: Preserving Critical Supplies and Resources; New COVID-19 Mortality Reporting.

Because guidance for the prevention and management of COVID-19 may change, providers and staff are encouraged to visit the Los Angeles Health Alert Network (LAHAN) website frequently. You can also subscribe to the LAHAN to receive alerts, advisories, and updates from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

 

Key Messages

 

  • The rate of new COVID-19 cases in L.A. County continues to increase. We need to collectively prepare for a surge of newly infected patients including those who are critically ill. Lessons learned from the experiences of other states and countries affected earlier by COVID-19 indicate that we need to plan and prepare for surges of ill patients and to try to avert severe shortages of medical supplies, staffing, hospital beds, ICU level beds, and ventilators.
  • Providers should continue to follow the focused testing recommendations outlined in the March 19 LAHAN. In particular, healthcare providers are urged to refrain from testing patients with mild symptoms who can be managed at home. Asymptomatic patients should not be tested. Hospitals experiencing significant delays in COVID-19 test results may request testing through the DPH Public Health Lab (PHL) for patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs). 
  • Facemasks are no longer required for the remainder of the 2019-2020 influenza season (for unvaccinated healthcare personnel), as sentinel influenza surveillance data indicates that the current season has ended (defined as <5% of respiratory specimens are testing positive for influenza). 
  • Refer patients to hospital emergency departments (EDs) if there is a clinical indication to do so. Patients with mild illness suggestive of COVID-19 who could otherwise be managed outside of an ED should not be sent to EDs for the sole purpose of specimen collection. Skilled nursing facilities and long term care facilities should develop procedures for collecting and sending specimens for COVID-19 testing, see revised Guidance for Managing COVID-19 in Long-TermCare Facilities (3-23-20).

 

Reporting

 

Los Angeles County DPH Acute Communicable Disease Control:

COVID-19 associated deaths must be reported by healthcare providers by phone or secure email immediately.

Positive COVID-19 lab results from clinical labs (not PHL) must be reported by healthcare providers within one day by fax.

 

Long Beach Health and Human Services:

 

Pasadena Public Health Department:

 

⇒ Keep up to date by visiting the LAC DPH Coronavirus Webpage for Health Professionals.