UNC Health is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for COVID-19. Please first look for answers to general questions in the resources on the CDC website for Healthcare Professionals.
David J. Weber, MD, MPH
Medical Director of Infection Prevention at UNC Hospitals
Dr. Weber responds to common questions physicians have about COVID-19.
What are the latest guidelines for patient care and treatment of COVID-19?
The CDC provides information about the following:
Information from the CDC indicates that COVID-19 symptoms in children may be similar to those of common viral respiratory infections, and complications tend to be less severe than in adults. As there are no antiviral drugs approved for COVID-19, CDC recommendations include supportive management of symptoms and complications.
- symptoms of respiratory infection
- nasal congestion
- sore throat
For more guidance for diagnosing and treating pediatric patients, visit the Health Professionals section of the CDC website.
What Is UNC Health's COVID-19 Strategy
The key components of our strategy regarding COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) are below.
- All persons with respiratory infection symptoms (e.g., fever, cough) should be provided with tissues to cover their mouth, cough, and nose and asked to thoroughly wash their hands.
- Masks should be provided when patients have a cough that cannot be contained with tissues, for patients who screen positive for suspected COVID-19, or for severely immunocompromised patients (e.g., CF, transplant) who are instructed to wear a mask by their physician.
- Obtain a detailed travel history for patients being evaluated with fever and/or acute respiratory illness. Current case definition for patients under investigation of novel coronavirus can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/clinical-criteria.html.
- Patients with symptoms of suspected COVID-19 or other respiratory infection (e.g., fever, cough) should be isolated in a private room with the door closed and should wear a mask.
- Healthcare providers should obtain a detailed travel history for patients being evaluated with fever and/or acute respiratory illness.
- Healthcare providers should immediately notify both infection prevention personnel, and their local or state health department for any patients under investigation of novel coronavirus for additional and more specific infection prevention guidance (use of Special airborne/contact precautions and Lab instructions).
- Immediately notify both your local Infection Prevention team and the N.C. State Health Department at 919-733-3419
What is UNC Health advising for patients with symptoms similar to COVID-19?
On March 9, 2020, UNC Health contacted existing patients outlining the criteria required for testing for COVID-19 and what to do if they experience symptoms of a respiratory illness but do not meet the criteria for testing.
Testing for COVID-19
As the coronavirus situation continues to evolve, we continue to update our screening process based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), and the Infectious Disease experts on our staff.
UNC Health is offering coronavirus testing for individuals who meet the CDC and NCDHHS criteria. You are required to have a phone screening with your physician or by calling the UNC Health Coronavirus helpline at 1-888-850-2684 to determine if testing is appropriate. A clinician will decide if coronavirus testing is appropriate. If needed, you will be directed to a testing location.
Testing is only for those individuals who meet specific criteria; it is not necessary for everyone to be tested for coronavirus at this time. People who have no symptoms will not be tested. Visiting a testing location when you have no symptoms could increase your risk of exposure and put an unnecessary strain on resources for those who need them most.