Patient Screening Tools

This page last update on March 23, 2020 at 8:48 am.

 

REVISED - Patient Assessment Tool 

https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Journey/COVID-19/Pages/Assessment.aspx

 

Alberta Health Services Health Link staff have shared these resources with pharmacists to use as you take calls from concerned patients.  Please take this opportunity to review this material and use it in your conversations with patients.

 

How to determine risk for COVID-19?

Referring to AHS Risk Assessment, you can help your patient by determining if your patient has developed a fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, sore throat, runny nose or nasal congestion or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19. 

 

Pharmacists can use the online screening tool, to help patients determine if they are at risk for COVID-19 and need to call Health LInk and be tested.

 

Risk:

The risk of exposure in Alberta is still assessed as low at this time, however we anticipate this risk may increase in the coming weeks.

 

A higher risk does currently apply to people who develop a fever and/or cough or shortness of breath AND meet any of the criteria below.

 

In the 14 days before illness onset, the individual:

  • Travelled** to anywhere outside of Canada;

OR

  • Had close contact* with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19;

OR

  • Had close contact* with a person with acute respiratory illness who has travelled** anywhere outside of Canada within 14 days prior to illness onset;

OR

  • Had laboratory exposure to biological material (e.g. primary clinical specimens, virus culture isolates) known to contain COVID-19 virus.

 

 * A close contact is defined as a person who provided care for the individual, including healthcare workers, family members or other caregivers, or who had other similar close physical contact with the person without consistent and appropriate use of personal protective equipment OR who lived with or otherwise had close prolonged contact (within 2 metres) with the person while they were infectious OR had direct contact with infectious bodily fluids of the person (e.g. was coughed or sneezed on) while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment.

 

** Patients can now refer to flight details posted on Alberta's COVID-19 update webpage to determine if they were in close contact during a flight with another passenger.

 

Travellers returning to Alberta on or after March 12th:

  • ALL travellers who returned to Alberta from outside Canada on or after March 12th are required to self-isolate immediately, for 14 days, and monitor for symptoms.

Travellers who returned to Alberta before March 12th:

  • Travellers who returned to Alberta from Italy, Iran, the Hubei Province of China or the Grande Princess Cruise ship, before March 12th, must also self-isolate, and must monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days after return. If symptoms do develop, stay home and call 811 immediately.
  • Travellers who returned to Alberta from other destinations, before March 12th, are encourage to self-isolate, and monitor themselves for symptoms.

 

If you have symptoms:

  • Anyone who has symptoms, including cough, runny nose, fever or sore throat, must also self-isolate for 14 days. Please do not visit a hospital, physician’s office, lab or healthcare facility without consulting Health Link (811) first. If you need immediate medical attention, call 911 and advise them that you may have COVID-19.

 

You can self-isolate by following these guidelines, which include:

  • Avoid close contact with other people, especially those with chronic conditions, a compromised immune system, or seniors
  • Do not attend work, school, social events or any other public gatherings
  • Watch for symptoms like fever, cough or shortness of breath in yourself or family members
  • Call Health Link 811 at the first sign of symptoms. Call from home before going to a health care facility, unless severely ill.
  • If severely ill and in need of immediate medical attention call 911 and inform them that you may have COVID-19.

 

To protect yourself while out in public, wash your hands frequently, and maintain a distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others.

 

How to evaluate fever and cough? 

Alberta Health Link staff refer to the Myhealth.alberta.ca resource for content related to symptom identification including the following resources:

Fever:

  • Age 12 and Older refer to: 

https://myhealth.alberta.ca/health/pages/conditions.aspx?Hwid=fevr4

  • Age 11 and Younger refer to: 

https://myhealth.alberta.ca/health/pages/conditions.aspx?Hwid=fevr3

Cough:

  • Age 12 and Older refer to: 

https://myhealth.alberta.ca/health/pages/conditions.aspx?Hwid=cough

  • Age 11 and Younger refer to: 

https://myhealth.alberta.ca/health/pages/conditions.aspx?Hwid=coughchild

  

Who is being tested?

The global situation is changing rapidly with more cases being reported outside China and more local spread within those areas.

Testing in Alberta has expanded to include all symptomatic individuals who have travelled outside of Canada during the 14 day period before their illness began.