Get Your Clinic Ready for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Get ready! Steps you take to prepare your clinic for flu also can help protect your patients and healthcare workers from COVID-19.
Before Patients Arrive
- Prepare the clinic.
- Know which of your patients are at higher risk of adverse outcomes from COVID-19.
- Consider and plan for providing more telemedicine appointments.
- Know how to contact your health department.
- Stay connected with your health department to know about COVID-19 in your community. Step up precautions when the virus is spreading in your community.
- Assess and restock supplies now and on a regular schedule
- Communicate with patients.
- Ask patients about symptoms during reminder calls.
- Consider rescheduling non-urgent appointments.
- Post signs at entrances and in waiting areas about prevention actions.
- Prepare the waiting area and patient rooms.
- Provide supplies—tissues, alcohol-based hand rub, soap at sinks, and trash cans.
- Place chairs 3–6 feet apart, when possible. Use barriers (like screens), if possible.
- If your office has toys, reading materials, or other communal objects, remove them or clean them regularly.
Train and prepare your staff now.
- Ensure that clinical staff know the right ways to put on, use, and take off PPE safely.
- Recognize the symptoms—fever, cough, shortness of breath.
- Implement procedures to quickly triage and separate sick patients.
- Emphasize hand hygiene and cough etiquette for everyone.
- Ask staff to stay home if they are sick.
- Send workers home if symptoms develop at work.
When Patients Arrive
- Place staff at the entrance to ask patients about their symptoms.
- Provide symptomatic patients with tissues or facemasks to cover mouth and nose.
- Limit non-patient visitors.
- Separate sick patients with symptoms.
- Allow patients to wait outside or in the car if they are medically able.
- Create separate spaces in waiting areas for sick and well patients.
- Place sick patients in a private room as quickly as possible.
After Patients are Assessed
- Provide at-home care instructions to patients with respiratory symptoms. Consider telehealth options for follow up.
- Notify your health department of patients with COVID-19 symptoms.
- After patients leave, clean frequently touched surfaces using EPA-registered disinfectants—counters, beds, seating.
Find signs for your clinic and infection prevention guidelines: www.cdc.gov/COVID19
Page last reviewed: March 11, 2020