COVID-19 infection prevention and control in long-term care facilities
Columbia Mailman School of Public Health's Dr. John W. Rowe, Professor of Health Policy and Aging, is a member of a WHO Expert Panel on Care of the Elderly which just released the attached guidance for prevention and management of COVID-19 among elderly in long term care facilities. The paper that outlines the objective of WHO interim guidance on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) in Long-Term Care Facilities (LTCF) in the context of COVID-19 which is to prevent COVID-19-virus from entering the facility, spreading within the facility, and spreading to outside the facility.
The findings also provide:
- Guidance on system and service coordination to provide long-term care and on protocols for infection prevention and control within Long Term Care Facilities, for example, with regard to visitor, employee hygiene;
- advice on surveillances and early detection within facilities of COVID-19, emphasizing early detection of cases;
- protocols for surveillance of employees and visitor screening; care for and confinement of residents with COVID-19;
- use of personal protective equipment; and
- cleaning measures for Long Term Care facilities.
WHO guidelines call for a minimization of the effect of infection control on the mental health and wellbeing of residents as well as for caregivers and staff. This interim guidance will be updated as more becomes known about COVID19.