Preventing the transmission of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in older adults aged 60 years and above living in long term care

CFN commissioned a rapid review to address the question of infection control and prevention in long-term care that is especially relevant given the current COVID-19 outbreaks in facilities across Canada. A comprehensive literature search that included electronic sources, grey literature sites, and references from a prior review produced one primary study and 5 clinical practice guidelines dealing specifically with the control and management of COVID-19 and SARS among older adults in long-term care.

Contributors: Patricia Rios, Amruta Radhakrishnan, Chantal Williams, Naveeta Ramkissoon Ba’ Pham, Gordon V. Cormack, Maura Grossman, Sharon E. Straus, Andrea C. Tricco
Acknowledgements: Jessie McGowan (literature search), Leah Boulos (PRESS)

A comprehensive literature search of both electronic databases and grey literature sources as well as references leveraged from a prior review resulted in one ongoing trial, one primary study and 5 clinical practice guidelines (CPG) addressing infection control and prevention for COVID-19 or SARS in long-term care facilities. Results of the primary study suggested preventing entry of COVID-19 into facilities and screening/testing all staff, residents, and visitors is the best first-line approach. The 5 CPGs most commonly recommended strategies such as establishing surveillance monitoring and evaluation systems, consulting with health professionals, regular or increased disinfection of surfaces, educating individuals on infection control and hand or respiratory hygiene, mandating use of personal protective equipment (PPE), ensuring adequate supplies for facilities, and employing social distancing/isolation or cohorting for residents.

Current guidelines on preventing transmission of COVID-19 or SARS in long-term care facilities mostly suggest that surveillance and monitoring programs accompanied with environmental cleaning measures and supporting the use of PPE, hand/respiratory hygiene, and social distancing are the ideal approach to protect older adults.

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