COVID-19 UPDATE 3/23/20203/23/2020
West Virginia Board of Pharmacy Current COVID-19 Update 3-23-2020
In response to the national public health emergency associated with the COVID-19 virus, the WV BOP is issuing the following information and reminders. As this is a rapidly developing situation, additional information will be available on our website, www.wvbop.com, as it becomes available.
These waivers will CEASE to be in effect when the WV State of Emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic ends.
This includes implementing safeguards to protect pharmacy professionals (pharmacists, interns, technician, and support personnel) and patients during a public health emergency. The WV BOP strongly recommends pharmacies implement strategies to ensure the safety of the pharmacy professionals and patients including the items listed below:
For pharmacies open to the public:
- Develop a process for older adults (60+), pregnant women, and individuals with chronic health conditions to pick up medications without waiting in line (i.e. post signs directing to drive-thru, offer curb-side delivery, mail delivery, senior hours, etc.).
Implement infection control procedures, especially for waiting areas, to include the following:
- Pharmacies with workspaces that currently allow patients to get closer than the minimum recommended distance of 3 feet should post signage or utilize other methods to ensure patients who are waiting are maintained at a safe distance. These measures could include physical barriers to maintain the safe-distance or floor markings indicating appropriate patient spacing.
- Pharmacies may consider utilizing only drive-thru or curb-side drop-off and pick-up to minimize exposure and protect pharmacy staff and patients.
- Pharmacy professionals who are older adults, pregnant women, or individuals with chronic health conditions should not be prohibited from wearing appropriate PPE to operate within a pharmacy.
- Regularly clean and disinfect counters, credit/debit card devices, waiting areas, and other spaces where public interaction occurs with an EPA-approved disinfectant. Clean at least every hour or after every 10 patients, whichever is more frequent. If cleaning and disinfecting products are in short supply, consider utilizing the FDA guidance for compounding hand sanitizer on the WV BOP website.
- If available, place alcohol-based hand sanitizer next to the checkout window so people can sanitize their hands after using common items, like the pen used to sign for prescriptions or devices used to process credit/debit card transactions. REMINDER: Manual signatures from patients are only required for controlled substance prescriptions.
- Provide regular breaks for staff to engage in proper hand hygiene (i.e. routinely washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds).
- Monitor pharmacy staff for symptoms of respiratory illness, including any of the following:
- Fever (NOTE: This does not require mandatory temperature checks. However, it is recommended that the staff member’s temperature be taken once per shift. A sample form is available on the WV BOP website.)
- Cough; or
- Shortness of breath.
- Staff exhibiting or reporting any of these symptoms must be sent home.
- Pharmacists and pharmacy interns shall no longer be permitted to administer immunizations or other injections without standard protective measures, which includes gloves and proper hand hygiene (i.e. routinely washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds). Standard protective measures do not include the use of masks or gowns. Pharmacists should utilize professional judgement when determining appropriateness of giving a vaccine during the State of Emergency.
- Pharmacists and pharmacy interns should not administer any immunizations or other injections to patients displaying or reporting symptoms of respiratory illness, including any of the following:
- Fever (NOTE: This does not require mandatory temperature checks);
- Cough; or
- Shortness of breath.
PEIA has issued some new policies and updates related to telepharmacy, prior authorizations, and early refills. This document can be found on the WV BOP Website.
Out of State Pharmacy StaffingThe WV BOP is awaiting a technology update promised from NABP. We will place information on our website as soon as this process is in place for the Temporary permit process