A new guide provides a step-by-step process of  how to manage the first day of a COVID-19 outbreak in residential aged care.

The Commonwealth Department of Health guide First 24 hours – managing COVID-19 in a residential aged care facility, includes 28 steps residential aged care facilities should take after identifying a positive coronavirus case.

The steps are broken into the following time frames:

  • first 30 minutes
  • minutes 30 to 60
  • hours 2 to 3
  • hours 4 to 6
  • hours 6 to 12
  • hours 12 to 24

In the first 30 minutes providers are advised to  isolate and inform anyone from the facility who has tested positive to COVID-19.

Residents who test positive should be immediately isolated in a single room, with an ensuite if possible, or transferred to a hospital if required.

And infected staff members should immediately leave the facility and self-isolate at home, according to the guide.

Providers must also notify their local Public Health Unit and Commonwealth Department of Health and lockdown the residential aged care facility within the first half hour.

Steps in the two to three-hour mark include providing key documents such as a detailed floor plan, an up-to-date list of residents and staff members and respiratory specimens and test results to the PHU and state branch of the Commonwealth Department of Health.

Between four and six hours after a positive COVID-19 finding the outbreak management team should meet and providers should:

  • bolster staff
  • plan rosters
  • test all staff and residents for COVID-19
  • clinically manage COVID-19 positive cases.

Steps in the final 12 to 24 hours include reviewing advance care directives and considering how to support staff with technology to ensure residents can maintain social contact.

Access the resource here.

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