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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

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  • 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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