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Important Information

from the State Medical Board of Ohio

Guidance for Outpatient Providers Evaluating Patients for COVID-19

We are sure you have been flooded with questions and requests for appointments. This guidance should help direct your decision-making as we are relying on your clinical judgment as these patients present.


We have heard some concerns about some physicians declining to see patients with respiratory illness. Again, please remember that we are relying on you as our first line of defense. Emergency departments are being inundated with patients who are mildly ill or even “worried well.” Please triage patients to determine their needs before referring them to other settings and if a referral is made, please call ahead to notify the facility so they can anticipate the patients’ arrival and prepare appropriately.


When evaluating patients in an outpatient setting, clinicians should use their judgment to determine if a patient has signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and whether the patient should be tested. Guidance for testing has been expanded to a wider group of symptomatic patients. Decisions on which patients receive testing should be based on the local epidemiology of COVID-19, as well as the clinical course of illness. 


Click to read the most recent guidance for outpatient providers.

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