PDF printable version of Outbreak infection control checklist (PDF 56 KB)

1. Inform

  • Report outbreak to PHU and Department of Health and Ageing.
  • Inform staff, residents and visitors of the outbreak.
  • Provide handouts about gastroenteritis.
  • Put up advisory notices.
  • Advise visitors not to attend (especially young children, the immuno-compromised or any with gastroenteritis symptoms).
  • Ask visitors to report any symptoms to staff.
  • Advise visiting general practitioners and other health staff.

2. Handwashing

  • Ensure that all residents have their hands washed after going to the toilet, before meals and after any episode of diarrhoea or vomiting.
  • Ensure all staff and visitors wash their hands before and after all resident contact.
  • Ensure sufficient soap and/or alcohol-based hand rubs or gels, and hand-drying facilities are available.

3. Additional infection control measures

  • Train staff in additional contact precautions.
  • Provide sufficient gloves, gowns, aprons, masks, goggles, face shields and ensure that they are easily accessible.
  • Ensure cleaning and other relevant staff members are aware of the correct cleaning procedures and the importance of handwashing.
  • Ensure catering staff members are aware of the precautions required in food service area and the importance of handwashing.

4. Cohorting

  • Allocate dedicated staff to care for unwell residents.
  • Separate well residents from unwell residents for at least 72 hours after resolution of symptoms (cohort nursing; avoid moving residents around during an outbreak).
  • Allocate dedicated staff to clean affected areas.
  • Do not allocate catering staff members to care for infected residents or to clean affected areas.
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5. Restrict movements

  • Close off dining room and common areas.
  • Suspend communal activities, excursion, visiting programs to the facility.

6. Exclude sick staff

  • Exclude staff with gastroenteritis for at least 48 hours after resolution of symptoms.

7. Cleaning

  • Implement additional cleaning procedures, including: increased cleaning requirements; correct use of sodium hypochlorite; cleaning of body fluid spills.
  • Instruct cleaning and other relevant staff about correct cleaning procedures and the importance of handwashing.
  • Ensure catering staff are aware of the precautions required in food service area and the importance of handwashing.

8. Linen

  • Instruct staff about precautions required when handling soiled linen.
  • Ensure adequate numbers of linen containers and leak proof bags.
  • Ensure laundry staff are aware of the correct laundering procedures and the importance of handwashing.

9. Transfers

  • Avoid transferring residents to other institutions while the outbreak is in progress; if a transfer is necessary, ensure receiving institution is notified of the outbreak.
  • Restrict admissions of new residents until outbreak is over.

10. Reporting, pathology testing

  • Report outbreak to Public Health Unit (PHU) promptly; follow PHU advice.
  • Update PHU (Daily Line-Listing) regularly and if there are any ‘sentinel events’ (see Figure 4 in these Guidelines).
  • Ensure laboratory testing has been organised.