Coronavirus Updates

Latest updates on Coronavirus. As the situation is quickly evolving, it is important to be provided with up-to-date information. We’ll be updating and adding to our information. So keep checking back.

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03rd December 2020

How to Respond to a COVID-19 Outbreak- England (Last update: 03.12.20)

Download our factsheet with guidance on how to respond to a COVID-19 Outbreak here:

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Alternatively, you can see the guidance here: 

A) How to Respond to a COVID-19 Outbreak

  • Remember all National restrictions apply
  • In a medical emergency call 999

B) What are COVID-19 Symptoms?

The most common are:

  • A new continuous cough
  • A high temperature
  • A loss of, or change in taste or smell (anosmia)

and for frail older people

  • A new onset of influenza-like illness or worsening shortness of breath

Remember: People with Dementia may not be able to tell you their symptoms and will need special observation – Use the RESTORE2 tools.

Record suspected or confirmed cases, end of suspected outbreak, end of confirmed outbreak in staff/residents on the eForms

C) What is an outbreak?

2 or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 or suspected cases in people linked with the home, with onset within 14 days of each other.

D) What do we need to do if we suspect an outbreak?

  1. Home Manager: Contact the local Health Protection Team - they will advise on next steps and set up testing for all staff and residents if appropriate. The HPT will test again in 4-7 days for negative and missed tests.

Have the following information to hand:

  • Type of home
  • Care Inspectorate number for the home
  • Onset date of first case
  • Onset date of most recent case
  • Symptoms of cases
  • Total number of residents in the care home
  • Total number of staff employed by the home
  • Total number of residents with symptoms
  • Total number of staff with symptoms
  • Location of symptomatic cases with respect to layout of whole home
  • Numbers of staff in clinical risk groups
  • Any recent testing or results
  • Any deaths or hospitalisations – Which hospital/when?
  • Which GPs are the residents (symptomatic and non-symptomatic) registered with?
  1. Isolate residents with symptoms immediately for 14 days from the onset of symptoms - and - in single rooms with a bathroom where possible. With multiple cases you should try to isolate a wing or part of the building for cases. Try to allocate a group of staff to work solely with residents who are in isolation and another group of staff to work with those who are negative
  2. Contact GPs of individual confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases
  3. Immediately start full infection control measures and increase the frequency of monitoring residents
  4. Check any local policy and outbreak management arrangements
  5. Postpone routine, non-essential medical and other appointments, use of Near Me
  6. Stop visiting except in exceptional circumstances such as end of life. All visitors must wear a protective face covering, perform hand hygiene and keep their distance where possible
  7. Keep monitoring residents and ensure those who need to, are shielding
  8. 28 days after the last resident/member of staff tested positive or showed coronavirus-like symptoms, test all residents and staff again
  9. If no further cases are identified, the outbreak has ended

E) Staff during an outbreak

Staff who have COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Staff with positive tests should self-isolate for 10 days
  • They can only return to work when clinical symptoms have improved and they have had no fever for 48 hours following the period of isolation
  • Staff who become symptomatic at work must immediately put on a surgical mask, notify their manager and go home to get tested by using the online portal. They must avoid using public transport
  • If staff develop symptoms, they must notify their line manager immediately

F) Key facts in an outbreak

  • Remember all national restrictions apply
  • Two or more confirmed or clinically suspected cases with onset within 14 days and linked is an outbreak
  • It is the Manager’s duty to alert the local Health Protection Team – they will advise on next steps
  • Infection control frequency to be increased
  • Isolate residents with positive COVID-19 or suspected cases for 14 days
  • Restrict visiting to exceptional circumstances
  • Staff with positive tests or those suspected of having COVID-19 or awaiting tests should isolate at home
  • Record all cases on the eForms on the Care Inspectorate website
  • Where the individual resident’s symptoms worsen, seek medical help

G) Good to know

H) PPE in an outbreak

  • Disposable gloves - Single use to protect you from contact with residents’ body fluids and secretions
  • Disposable plastic apron - Single use to protect you from contact with residents’ body fluids and secretions
  • Fluid-repellent (Type IIR) surgical mask - To be worn continuously until breaks

I) Support in an outbreak

  • Health Protection Team for your area
  • 111 or resident GP if symptoms worsen
  • 999 for medical emergencies
  • Care Inspectorate for help and advice on regulatory concerns
  • Your Local Authority

*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

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