Last Reviewed: April 3, 2020
This page contains information on novel coronavirus (COVID-19) specific to the primary care response. Primary care providers should also review the Information for AHS Staff & Health Professionals page for a comprehensive list of resources for all health professionals in Alberta.
What’s New for Primary Care
- Updates on Cases in Alberta
- AHS COVID-19 Daily Update for Medical Staff: The update outlines key information and developments on the response. It will be shared here daily. Note: Some resources in the update are specific to AHS.
- Changes to Ambulatory Clinics: All non-urgent AHS ambulatory/outpatient clinic visits will be postponed as of April 1, until April 30, 2020. AHS will re-evaluate the status of the pandemic in mid-April to determine if extension of this timeline is required. Essential services and urgent patient visits will continue to be accommodated. See memo for more information. You can also review the Adult Ambulatory Services Provincial Pandemic Plan for information.
- Use of Hydroxychloroquine: At this time, Hydroxychloroquine is not recommended to be used as prophylaxis for COVID-19 outside clinical trials, given the lack of established benefit (with no existing data on prophylaxis) to counterbalance potential harms. There is minimal evidence for hydroxychloroquine in use as prophylaxis for COVID-19 illness. There are multiple trials underway to explore this, including determining what groups would be considered at highest risk and therefore in need of prophylaxis. Potential harms of hydroxychloroquine include serious clinical and laboratory adverse effects, potential drug interactions, and pediatric morbidity and mortality. AHS will continue to monitor the research and evidence for hydroxychloroquine.
- PPE distribution: AHS is distributing PPE to both PCN and non-PCN primary care clinics. Distribution is being coordinated by PCNs.
- Physicians Working at Multiple Sites: Many physicians are required to work across multiple sites in the course of their day. Physicians are not currently required to restrict their activities to a single site. However, all physicians working at multiple sites are asked to observe the following measures:
- In the event that a site is experiencing an outbreak of Influenza Like Illness or confirmed COVID-19 illness, physicians must not move from that site to any other location on the same working day.
- If a physician has recently worked at a site where an outbreak is declared, they should contact the local Medical Officer of Health for further guidance.
- Where possible, assignment of clinical duties should minimize the need for movement between sites.
- Where possible, clothing should be changed between visits to different sites.
- Absolute strict attention to appropriate use of PPE and handwashing is required for all patient encounters.
- Spectrum – A mobile app customized to deliver local antimicrobial stewardship guidelines, resistance data, dosing information, and AHS COVID-19 related content.
- CPSA Registry for Clinical Redeployment: Online tool for Alberta physicians to self-report their ability to be redeployed for clinical services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Available on the CPSA’s physician portal.
Information to Give Patients
Overview of PCN Task Force
A COVID-19 PCN Incident Response Task Force has been created to ensure a coordinated provincial response to the virus. The Task Force plays a key role in integrating Primary Care Networks (PCNs) into provincial emergency management efforts.