Infection prevention and control measures are used to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from person to person. The measures recommended to prevent the spread of the virus are a mix of standard, contact and droplet precautions recommended to be used by all health workers.
With each of the recommendations below there are links to YouTube videos/posters that staff might find helpful to quickly check practice techniques.
Using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitiser e.g. after going to the toilet, coughing, blowing the nose and before eating. Additional hand hygiene is required when caring for a resident with a respiratory infection.
Five moments of hand Hygiene
The 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene listed below are designed to minimise the risk of transmission of microorganisms between healthcare worker, the client, and the environment.
You must wash your hands or use hand sanitiser:
COVID-19 spreads through direct contact with droplets from an infected person who speaks, sneezes or coughs without covering their mouth.
The virus can be transmitted between people if they are within 1 metre of a person who has COVID-19 demonstrating the importance of social distancing. Keeping 1.5m distance between yourself and the client reduces the risk of infection.
Surfaces become contaminated by the droplets from an infected person falling onto a surface or by being touched by an infected person with unwashed/unsanitised hands.
Touching that contaminated surface and then touching the face, mouth, nose or eyes can introduce the virus into the body. Sharing items like cutlery, cups, straws, water bottles or cosmetics are some examples of transmission routes.
This decision-making chart to help workplaces choose the correct PPE for different clinical situations. Standardising the use of PPE will ensure that health care workers are protected from infection without depleting PPE stores unnecessarily.
PPE Decision-making chart for community service providers
PPE information to healthcare workers, clinical staff (for example, doctors, AHW’s, nurses) and non-clinical staff who enter the patient’s room or cubicle, or transfer patients within the hospital (for example, cleaners, patient services assistants or meal services staff).
PPE required for assessment and collection document of specimens from people with suspected COVID-19 or for clinical examination of a patient with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
Appropriate use of PPE
When caring for a client with a respiratory infection it is essential to be able to apply and remove PPE without contaminating your uniform or yourself.
The mask used in the previous video link was a P2 (duckbill) respirator mask, which is different from the recommended surgical mask. Here is the application and removal of a surgical mask
Note: The mask needs to be applied and removed in the order demonstrated in previous videos
Useful posters of fitting and removing PPE can be found here.
There may be occasions if your client is very unwell, is coughing and sneezing or has been diagnosed with COVID-19 that you will need to apply a thicker more protective mask. This mask is called a P2/N95 respirator mask. In order to wear this mask safely and effectively the mask must be fitted to the worker’s face correctly. The worker must complete a 'fit check' after donning the P2/N95 mask. Watch a demonstration of the correct application and fitting of the P2 mask. and the correct usage of n95 respirators in clinical settings.
Instruction poster for fitting a P2 respirator mask
Anyone (staff, clients and family members) with signs and symptoms of a respiratory infection, regardless of the cause, should follow or be instructed to follow respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette as follows:
Contact transmission of COVID-19 can occur through direct contact with contaminated equipment, or indirectly, for example, via hands that are in contact with contaminated equipment or the environment.
General surfaces can be divided into two groups:
Frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, keyboards, tabletops, light switches
General surfaces and fittings (Non-client areas)
Environmental cleaning and disinfection principles for health and residential care facilities guidelines.
Cleaning of transport vehicles