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Davis Brown Health Law Blog  

Hospital COVID-19 Community Spread Checklist - March 17, 2020

If COVID-19 is identified in your community, make sure you are following guidance from CDC, IDPH, and your local public health authorities. The checklist below should help guide you in taking the steps needed.

This situation is rapidly changing, as is the guidance from CDC, public health officials, and regulators. We encourage you to contact your attorney if you have any questions or would like assistance developing your policies, procedures, communication pieces, and action plans.



Human Resources

Business Continuity

Post COVID-19 related signs on all entrances and patient care areas

Develop media holding statement; provide to media with contact for media inquiries; distribute talking points to staff

Implement staff (and contractor) screening protocols, evaluating for respiratory symptoms, fever and exposure risk

Determine critical business functions and how those will continue in an emergency situation such as staff shortages or office closure

Monitor all entrances and implement visitor restrictions; all visitors are screened for symptoms, temperature, exposure risk

Develop open letter to patients/community and put on the website; refer media and inquiries to it. Make sure it tells patients/public how you want them to act.

Make decisions on employee leave related to COVID-19; including how you will handle on-the-job exposure

Review essential and non-essential services; determine what elective and non-essential services can be canceled and what can be provided via telemedicine; ensure sufficient ED/inpatient staffing

Develop COVID-19 testing and patient screening procedure/protocol which poses the least risk to staff and other patients

Develop communication to employees and medical staff 

Cross-train staff in non-essential areas on job functions in essential areas

Monitor PPE supplies and availability; consider canceling non-essential and elective services to preserve PPE

Shut down community access to the cafeteria, coffee shop, wellness center, etc.

Be prepared for second communication to employees if COVID-19 is present in your facility

Identify staff who can work remotely and ensure IT provides them with the systems/support necessary to facilitate telecommuting

Determine what non-critical contractors and vendors can remain off-site; notify them

Cease holding any non-essential activities or groups on hospital grounds

Remind employees of social media policy and HIPAA privacy requirements

Cease all non-essential employee work-related travel; consider when you will close non-essential offices and how you will alert employees

Move to electronic board meetings, if public entity- communicate to the community and implement a method for the public to participate 

Determine how deliveries will be handled and communicate to vendors

Consider FAQ for patients/community on the website. Update as needed/situation changes

Limit in-person meetings; move to teleconference and videoconferencing

Consider changes in staffing patterns that can preserve critical and essential patient care functions

Make sure hand hygiene products are available at all entrances, outside patient rooms and inpatient care areas

Consider FAQ for employees and place on Intranet. Update as needed/situation changes

Frequently remind patient care staff of infection control protocols/policies

Determine which vendors have to be paid and the time frame to preserve critical and essential functions; set up a mechanism for payment

Implement more frequent cleaning and infection control protocols

Determine how you will communicate with patient families if the situation worsens and no visitors are allowed

Provide updated PPE guidance/training if it becomes necessary to ration based on inventory

Determine whether a call center will be needed to handle call volume; work to determine communication strategy to community


Determine who will communicate with public health officials and regulators


Determine assistance you may need and alert community stakeholders

Our Coronavirus Resources webpage offers additional information for hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other businesses including Five Things Hospitals & Nursing Homes Should Do Now.

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