ACEP COVID-19 Field Guide

Table of Contents

Guidance for Health Care Personnel Regarding Exposure

Home Safety

Monitor yourself for signs of possible infection, including a fever of 38.0°C (100.4°F) or higher (measured twice a day), a cough, or difficulty breathing (Table 2.2).

For further information, review the CDC’s “Interim US Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Healthcare Personnel With Potential Exposure in a Healthcare Setting to Patients With Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).”

Table 2.2 Epidemiologic risk classification for asymptomatic health care personnel (HCP) after exposure to patients with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) or their secretions and excretions in a health care setting, and their associated monitoring and work restriction recommendations. Both high- and medium-risk exposures place HCP at more than low risk for developing infection; therefore, the recommendations for active monitoring and work restrictions are the same for these exposures. However, these risk categories were created to align with risk categories described in the “Interim US Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Persons With Potential Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Exposure in Travel-Associated or Community Settings,” which outlines criteria for quarantine and travel restrictions specific to high-risk exposures. Use that interim guidance for information about the movement, public activity, and travel restrictions that apply to the HCP included here. The highest risk exposure category that applies to each person should be used to guide monitoring and work restrictions. Note: While respirators confer a higher level of protection than face masks and are recommended when caring for patients with COVID-19, face masks still confer some level of protection to HCP, which was factored into our assessment of risk.


HCP = health care personnel; PPE = personal protective equipment

a The risk category for these rows would be elevated by one level if HCP had extensive body contact with the patients (eg, rolling the patient).

b The risk category for these rows would be elevated by one level if HCP performed or were present for a procedure likely to generate higher concentrations of respiratory secretions or aerosols (eg, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, intubation, extubation, bronchoscopy, nebulizer therapy, sputum induction). For example, HCP who were wearing a gown, gloves, eye protection, and a face mask (instead of a respirator) during an aerosol-generating procedure would be considered to have a medium-risk exposure.

Work Safety

ACEP Statements on PPE

COVID-19: Personal protective equipment (PPE) during the pandemic In this crisis, emergency care tea...

Work Safety

Appropriate PPE

Employers should select appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and provide it to health car...

Work Safety


Transmission COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person to person, inclu...

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