Requested actions

  • Be aware Washington State Department of Health (DOH) updated its vaccination guidance during COVID-19.
  • Test patients who:
    • Have new onset of COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of age or health status.
    • Are asymptomatic with known exposure to COVID-19.
    • Have been to a demonstration or large gathering.
    • Are Black, Latinx, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Native American or Alaska Native. These communities suffer more greatly than others from COVID-19.
  • Implement measures to conserve and optimize the use of PPE, following DOH and CDC guidance.

Background

Vaccination Guidance

Vaccination rates in Washington and the United States continue to decline—possibly due to fear of exposure to COVID-19 at healthcare facilities.

DOH updated its vaccination guidance to healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic encouraging providers to continue vaccinating patients, especially infants, pregnant people and older adults, who are at higher risk of vaccine-preventable diseases. The guidance requests healthcare providers identify, contact and schedule in-person appointments for children who have missed well-child visits or recommended vaccines.

When to test asymptomatic patients

We have limited evidence to make a recommendation for the best time to test an asymptomatic person for COVID-19. The median incubation period from time of exposure is 5 days. Test results are more accurate closer to 14 days after possible exposure. Asymptomatic transmission can likely occur longer than 14 days after exposure.

We recommend healthcare providers test asymptomatic patients at least 5 days after exposure. If your facility has inadequate supplies, refer patients to community testing resources.

All patients who test negative should monitor for symptoms:

  • Those with known exposure must continue to quarantine for 14 days from exposure.
  • Those without known exposure do not need to quarantine.

Patient communication

Share these materials with patients.

Additional resources