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V. Community Healthcare Delivery Issues

Supplement C: Preparedness and Response In Healthcare Facilities

Public Health Guidance for Community-Level Preparedness and Response to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Version 2/3


Since 2004, there have not been any known cases of SARS reported anywhere in the world. The content in this Web site was developed for the 2003 SARS epidemic. But, some guidelines are still being used. Any new SARS updates will be posted on this Web site.

A SARS outbreak may generate issues that exceed the scope of a particular healthcare facility and must be addressed at the community level, with representation from healthcare systems, public health, and industry. Some of these issues include:


  • Designation of certain hospitals to be the primary providers of SARS patient care
  • Designation, development, and staffing of community SARS evaluation centers
  • Construction and certification of new AIIRs
  • Criteria/procedures for and impact of closure of facilities
  • Establishment of alternative "overflow" facilities


  • Protection and training of first responders
  • Personnel surge capacity for heavily affected hospitals
  • Coordination of volunteer efforts
  • Assistance to healthcare workers in quarantine or on home/work restrictions
  • Communication with and coordination of contract staff and independent physician groups


  • Implications (e.g., fit-testing) of an emergency change in respirator type during an outbreak
  • Adequacy of supplies of PPE and other equipment and materials
  • Coordination of donated items


  • Requisition and distribution of emergency funds to assist with construction and modifications of facilities to care for SARS patients, overtime payment for healthcare and other personnel, costs of healthcare worker furloughs, lost revenues, and other expenses


  • Regulations to ensure that no facility can refuse to care for patients with SARS
  • Certification of new AIIRs
  • Liability issues related to healthcare workers in jobs for which they are not specifically trained


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