BCHHS Public Health Provider Alert: Updated Provider Guidance and Info on Buncombe County Community Testing Sites

March 17, 2020

**Please note that all important documents associated with this update from BCHHS are linked at the bottom of this message**

1. Please see the attached guidance for providers from NC DPH (Interim Guidance for Discontinuation of Home Isolation, Interim Guidance for PPE and Outpatient Triage Assessment Guidance).

2.   Buncombe County Community Testing Sites:

  •          We will begin operating two drive-through COVID-19 testing sites TODAY.

o Biltmore Church at 35 Clayton Road, Arden, North Carolina 28704

o UNC Asheville Campus, parking lot P28 on University Heights off of W.T. Weaver Boulevard

  •          The sites will be open from 1:00 pm until 6:00 pm TODAY.
  •          Based on the availability of testing supplies, the sites will continue to operate throughout the week from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm each day.
  •          Testing is available to all members of our community who meet criteria, regardless of their income or ability to pay.
  •          This COVID-19 drive-thru testing is specifically available for community members who:
    • Have a fever combined with either a cough or shortness of breath.
    • Have contact with someone with known COVID-19 and are experiencing any of the symptoms: fever, cough or shortness of breath.
  •          If you are not doing testing in your clinic, you may refer patients to these testing sites.
  •          Updates on these testing sites are available on www.Buncombecounty.org/bcready or Buncombe County social media sites (Facebook, Twitter).

3.       PLEASE READ these answers to some common questions from providers:

  •          You do NOT need approval from BCHHS or any other local or state public health official to perform commercial lab testing for COVID-19.
  •          There has been no change in guidance from NC DPH on who to test:

1)      Fever OR signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) in any person, including healthcare workers, who has had close contact with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient within 14 days of symptom onset.

2)      Fever AND signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) AND negative influenza test (rapid or PCR) and no other more likely diagnosis.

  •          If you perform commercial lab COVID-19 testing, you need to:

i.Fax a completed CDC PUI case report form (attached) to the local health department in the county where the person lives

1.For Buncombe County, fax line the form to 828-250-6169.

ii.Give the person tested the home isolation documents (“Guidance for PUI Home Isolation” and “Infection Prevention Recs for Home Isolation”)

  •          The local health department will be notified of any + COVID-19 test results in a person residing in their county. Local health department staff will notify the patient and the healthcare provider who performed the test as well as anyone else who needs to know (EMS, hospital, etc.).

 

  •          If a provider performs a test through a commercial lab and the result is negative for COVID-19, it is the responsibility of the testing provider/their clinic to inform the patient.

 

  •          We do NOT perform testing at BCHHS. We are only doing testing at the community testing sites listed above or at an individual’s residence if required.

 

  •          Please review guidance from the NC DHHS and CDC if at all possible before contacting me or the Communicable Disease nurses with questions. We are experiencing a very high call volume and trying to return calls/emails as quickly as possible.

 

For the most up-to-date information:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

https://epi.dph.ncdhhs.gov/cd/coronavirus/providers.html

Attachments from BCHHS:

Buncombe County COVID-19 Testing Sites

CDC COVID-19 PUI and Case Report from 3-8-2020

NC DPH COVID-19 Interim guidance for Discontinuation of Home Isolation from 3-16-2020

NC DPH Interim Guidance for Personal Protective Equipment from 3-12-2020

NC DPH Outpatient Triage Assessment Guidance from 3-16-2020

NC DPH COVID-19 Guidance for PUI Home Isolation from 3-8-2020

NC DPH COVID-19 Infection Prevention Recommendations for Home Isolation from 3-8-2020

Visitor Log_COVID-19_NCDPH from 3-8-2020

Thanks for everything you are doing for our community during this difficult situation,

Jennifer Mullendore, MD, MSPH

(she/her/hers)

Interim Health Director and Medical Director

Buncombe County Health and Human Services

Office:  828-250-6308

Cell:  828-989-6145

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