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Appendix C2: Checklist for SARS Preparedness in Healthcare Facilities

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.


  • Rapidly identify and isolate all potential SARS patients.
  • Implement infection control practices and contact tracing to interrupt SARS-CoV transmission.
  • Ensure rapid communication within healthcare facilities and between healthcare facilities and health departments.

Key concepts

  • Rapid decision making and implementation of control strategies are essential to limiting the spread of SARS-CoV.
  • Significant transmission of SARS-CoV occurs in hospitals and other healthcare settings.
  • Healthcare workers, patients, and visitors can propagate and disseminate infection within and outside healthcare facilities.
  • SARS-CoV transmission occurs primarily during u nprotected exposures to unrecognized cases in both inpatient and outpatient settings.
  • SARS-CoV transmission occurs primarily through large respiratory droplets and close-contact exposures (probably including fomites).
  • SARS-CoV transmission may also occur through small-particle aerosols, especially during aerosol-generating procedures.
  • Strict adherence to appropriate infection control practices, including use of personal protective equipment, is very effective in preventing transmission.

Priority activities

  • Organize a planning committee to develop an institutional preparedness and response plan and a clear decision-making structure.
  • Develop surveillance, screening, and evaluation strategies for various levels of SARS-CoV transmission.
  • Develop plans to rapidly implement effective infection control measures and contact-tracing procedures.
  • Determine the current availability of infrastructure and resources to care for SARS patients and strategies for meeting increasing demands.
  • Develop strategies to meet staffing needs for SARS patient care and management.
  • Develop strategies to communicate with staff, patients, the health department, and the public.
  • Develop strategies to educate staff and patients about SARS and SARS control measures.


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