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WORKING IN CLINICAL SETTINGS AND POTENTIAL EXPOSURE

Q1 – Should students be working with patients at risk for COVID-19?

We recognize that medical students are valued members of the health care team and that you gain critical learning in clinical settings early in your education. After receiving appropriate training, you may observe or be involved in the care of patients with a variety of communicable diseases, including influenza, measles, TB, HCV and HIV. However, since we do not yet have well-established data on transmissibility/morbidity/ mortality of COVID-19 and since it is likely that there will be a limited supply of PPE, UMMS has determined, aligned with AAMC recommendations, that medical students should NOT be involved in direct care of patients with known or suspected cases of COVID-19 at this time. This includes collection of respiratory specimens to rule out COVID-19; medical students should not participate in collecting those specimens.

Other than limiting direct care of COVID-19 patients, you should continue in your roles as part of the healthcare team, unless otherwise instructed. As is always the case, any student who has any sort of illness will be asked to stay home to avoid spreading that illness to other healthcare professionals.

Update: as of 3/15/20, medical students will not participate in the ED shifts as part of ECPS. This will be reassessed weekly, next update to be provided on 3/22/20.

Q3 – What if I am exposed to a patient who has tested positive for COVID-19?

If a student was exposed to a patient who tested positive for COVID-19, the student should contact Student Health Services (SHS, 508-334-8464) for further guidance. Students exposed to patients with COVID-19 will begin a 14-day self-quarantine until the test results for the patient are returned.

Q2 - What if I am working in a clinical setting and I am exposed to a patient who is being ruled out for COVID-19?

If a student was exposed to a patient being ruled out for COVID-19, whether or not the student was wearing the required personal protective equipment (PPE), the student should contact Student Health Services (SHS, 508-334-8464) for further guidance. Students exposed to patients at high suspicion for COVID-19 will begin a 14-day self-quarantine until the test results for the patient are returned. If the tests are negative, the student will come off self-quarantine.

Please note: this advice is different from recommendations for clinical faculty, and this recommendation may change, so contact Student Health immediately in any event, for updated and accurate guidance.

Q4 – What should I do if I’m experiencing coronavirus-like symptoms (fever, cough or shortness of breath)?

If you have coronavirus-like symptoms or have been exposed to someone in the community outside of work with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, please contact Student Health Services (SHS, 508-334-8464) immediately, to let them know of the situation so they can advise appropriately whether or not it is appropriate to come to or stay at work. If you are sick with any symptoms at all, please stay at home until you have spoken with someone from Student Health!

Q5 – I was mask fit tested about a year ago, do I need to do it again?

Regardless of the current concerns about COVID-19, all healthcare providers should maintain up to date fit testing to protect themselves from a host of infectious disease that can be transmitted through respiratory secretions/cough. If you were fit tested within the last 12 months (last year during Transition to CCE for current 3rd year students, or last spring in preparations for 4th year, for current 4th year students) you are fine and do not need to be re-fit-tested at the current time. When you pass the 12-month mark from your last fit test, please contact Environmental Health and Safety to arrange for a fit testing appointment. At the current time, appointments are still available for students.

CCE PANDEMIC COURSE

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UMMS COVID-19 information

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