Here are the 10 things hospitals are being told to do to prepare for the coronavirus (Bryan Pietsch)
FILE PHOTO: Employees dressed in scrubs talk with each other at Providence Regional Medical Center after a spokesman from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said a traveler from China has been the first person in the United States to be diagnosed with the Wuhan coronavirus, in Everett, Washington, U.S. January 21, 2020.  REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
Employees dressed in scrubs talk with each other at Providence Regional Medical Center after coronavirus victim treated in Everett


Are you a healthcare professional? If you want to share your experience in the healthcare industry as the coronavirus spreads, please reach out to Business Insider reporter Bryan Pietsch at 

Train healthcare personnel

  • The CDC says hospital leadership like the chief medical officer, quality officers, epidemiologists, and department heads should review the CDC's COVID-19 guidance, which is available here

  • Trainings should include how to identify infection, how to safely collect a specimen, and how to report cases of COVID-19. 

How to quickly identify and isolate patients who are confirmed or suspected to have the virus

  • Post signs at entrances instructing people experiencing symptoms of respiratory infection to put on a mask and keep it on while at the hospital, cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, and wash their hands frequently. 

  • Provide face masks to patients and people displaying symptoms. 

  • Put alcohol-based hand sanitizer at all entrances and common areas. 

  • Facilities should have a separate, well-ventilated space for waiting patients that separates them by at least six feet. 

  • Have a process to notify local or state health officials if a case of the coronavirus is suspected after that person arrives. 

How to place patients

  • Confirm the number and location of Airborne Infection Isolation Rooms (AIIRs) in the facility. 

  • Make sure that AIIRs have been tested and are effective. (AIIRs should have sufficient air flow, negative pressure and exhaust handling.) 

  • Plan to minimize the amount of healthcare professionals entering the room. The CDC advises that only "essential" personnel should enter the AIIR. 

  • Log who enters and exits the patient rooms. 

Transmission precautions

  • Protective equipment and other supplies for workers and patients should be supplied at a sufficient level throughout all steps from the patient's arrival to assessment. 

  • Have a respiratory protection program, and make sure employees are cleared and trained to use a respirator. 

Patients moving within the hospital

  • Patients moving outside of the AIIRs should be limited to only medically-essential situations. 

  • If the patient is being moved out of the AIIR, employees in the receiving area need to be notified in advance. 

  • Patients being transported out of the AIIR should wear a mask and be covered with a clean sheet. 

Hand hygiene

  • Hand hygiene supplies should include alcohol-based hand sanitizer and be accessible in patient care areas, including places where employees are removing protective equipment. 

  • Oversee and audit adherence to CDC recommendations for hand hygiene. 

Cleaning of the hospital environment

  • Have a plan to disinfect surfaces and equipment in patients' rooms effectively. 

  • People cleaning equipment and surfaces should be trained and tested. 

  • Use an EPA-registered hospital-grade disinfectant with approved to sanitize for "emerging viral pathogens." 

Monitor and manage personnel

  • Follow local and state policies for monitoring personnel for potential exposure. 

  • Make sure workers have access to medical consultation. 

  • Track exposures and conduct active or self-monitoring of personnel. 

  • Have a process to check symptoms and temperatures of personnel before they start their shift. 

Visitor access

  • Ensure plans for visitor access have been reviewed and updated. 

  • Visitors should be screened for symptoms of respiratory illness before entering the hospital. 

  • Plan to restrict visitation to patient rooms with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. 

  • If visitors are allowed to visit those patients, hospitals should plan what type of protective equipment visitors should wear, give instructions to those visitors on proper hygiene protocol, maintain a record of visitors, and limit visitors' movement within the hospital. 

Regularly monitor the situation with the CDC

  • Check the CDC's page on the coronavirus situation at 

Read the original article on Business Insider