Version 1.2 September 26 2012
This document outlines infection control and other general advice for personnel who may be involved in receiving and caring for patients, primarily within healthcare settings, who may be infected with a novel coronavirus. It should be used in conjunction with local policies.
In the absence of effective drugs or a vaccine, control of this disease relies on the appropriate management of cases, (including isolation of suspected and confirmed cases) and their close contacts. In preparation, healthcare facilities who may receive and care for any cases should: Review their local policies and ensure that operational procedures are described and staff are familiar with them, for example where personal protective equipment is stored and how it should be used Ensure staff are aware of how to access surveillance forms from the HPA and any local record sheets etc Ensure that adequate supplies/equipment are available, including:
o supplies of FFP3 respirators
o Gloves - disposable and latex free alternatives, eg nitrile
o Gowns/Aprons - disposable fluid resistant full sleeve gowns and single-use plastic aprons
o Eye protection eg. tight fitting goggles or face shield - disposable, or if non disposable, with a wipeable surface, not with elastic straps
o Leak-proof, clinical waste disposal bags,
o Hand hygiene supplies.
o General-purpose detergent and disinfectant solutions Ensure that staff are aware of where a case will be isolated and the need for a negative pressure room Ensure that there is guidance available on actions to be taken if a case presents
Coronaviruses are mainly transmitted by large respiratory droplets and direct or indirect contact with infected secretions. They can also be detected in faeces and urine and under certain circumstances airborne transmission can occur from aerosolised respiratory secretions and faecal material. As coronaviruses are enveloped a very wide range of disinfectants would be effective. Personal protective equipment and good infection control can be extremely useful but never completely eliminate risk as they are user dependent.
A record of all staff that have contact with a suspected/confirmed patient should be kept
Patients who meet the current HPA case definition and present at the Emergency Department should be placed in a single room whilst awaiting assessment. Staff should wear protective clothing as detailed below. Rooms to be appropriately decontaminated before being used again (see below: Cleaning)