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Massachusetts Department of Public Health issues coronavirus advisory to healthcare providers

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The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has issued the following advisory to Healthcare Providers and Institutions, Infection Preventionists, Emergency Departments, Hospital Laboratories, EMS and LBOH concerning the outbreak of a novel coronavirus causing respiratory disease in Wuhan, China.

On January 21, CDC announced the identification of the first case in the United States, in a Washington State resident with travel to Wuhan, China. At this time, the risk to residents in Massachusetts is low. CDC staff are screening passengers arriving from Wuhan into LAX, JFK and SFO which receive 74% of the flights from those areas. Over the next few days, screening will also start occurring at Atlanta and Chicago-O’Hare airports. CDC is working to have all travelers from Wuhan, China routed into one of those airports. There are no immediate plans to begin screening at Boston Logan International Airport.

Patients who report recent travel to Wuhan who present to any facility or provider with a fever, lower respiratory tract symptoms (such as shortness of breath and cough), and/or contact with a known novel coronavirus patient should be asked to wear a surgical mask and be evaluated in a private room with the door closed, ideally an airborne infection isolation room if available. Healthcare personnel entering the room should use standard precautions, contact precautions, airborne precautions, and use eye protection (e.g., goggles or a face shield).

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