The National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) tracks trends of potential visits for COVID-like illness (CLI), Influenza-like illness (ILI), Upper Respiratory Illness (URI) (fever and cough or shortness of breath or difficulty breathing or presence of a coronavirus diagnosis code) to a subset of emergency departments in 47 states.
Studies have shown that HCWs are 3-4 times more likely to test positive for COVID-19. And that more than 7000 healthcare workers worldwide have died since the start of the pandemic. But most experts agree, these numbers are likely a gross understatement.
“During care for any patient, one should assume that an infectious agent could be present in the patient’s blood or body fluids, including all secretions and excretions except tears and sweat. Therefore, appropriate precautions, including use of PPE, must be taken. Whether PPE is needed, and if so, which type, is determined by the type of clinical interaction with the patient and the degree of blood and body fluid contact that can be reasonably anticipated and by whether the patient has been placed on isolation precautions such as Contact or Droplet Precautions or Airborne Infection Isolation.”