Infection prevention and control

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) technical guidance: Infection prevention and control / WASH

Infection prevention and control during health care when novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection is suspected

This is the first edition of guidance on infection prevention and control (IPC) strategies for use when infection with a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is suspected. It has been adapted from WHO’s Infection prevention and control during health care for probable or confirmed cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, based on current knowledge of the situation in China and other countries where cases were identified and experiences with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV and MERS-CoV.

Infection Prevention and Control for the safe management of a dead body in the context of COVID-19

This interim guidance is for all those, including managers of health care facilities and mortuaries, religious and public health authorities, and families, who tend to the bodies of persons who have died of suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

IPC guidance for long-term care facilities in the context of COVID-19

The objective of this interim guidance is to provide guidance on Infection Prevention and Control in Long-Term Care Facilities (LTCF) in the context of COVID-19 to prevent COVID-19-virus from entering the facility, spreading within the facility, and spreading to outside the facility. This guidance is for LTCF managers and corresponding IPC focal persons in LTCF.

Consideration for quarantine of individuals in the context of containment for coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

The purpose of this document is to offer guidance to Member States on quarantine measures for individuals in the context of COVID-19. It is intended for those responsible for establishing local or national policy for quarantine of individuals, and adherence to infection prevention and control measures.

Health workers exposure risk assessment and management in the context of COVID-19 virus

This tool is to be used by health care facilities that have either cared for or admitted COVID-19 patients; it is to be completed for all health workers who have been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 patient in a health care facility. It will help determine the risk of COVID-19 virus infection of all HCWs who have been exposed to a COVID-19 patient and then provides recommendations for appropriate management of these HCWs, according to their infection risk.

Find below the links to the template for collecting the data contained within the tool and a corresponding data dictionary to facilitate the collection of this data.

Rational use of personal protective equipment for coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

This document summarizes WHO’s recommendations for the rational use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in health care and home care settings, as well as during the handling of cargo; it also assesses the current disruption of the global supply chain and considerations for decision making during severe shortages of PPE. This updated version includes a section on considerations for decision making processes and a summary of temporary measures in the context of severe PPE shortage.

Advice on the Use of Masks

This document provides advice on the use of masks in communities, during home care, and in health care settings in areas that have reported cases of COVID-19. It is intended for individuals in the community, public health and infection prevention and control (IPC) professionals, health care managers, health care workers (HCWs), and community health workers. This updated version includes a section on Advice to decision makers on the use of masks for healthy people in community settings.

Home care for patients with suspected novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection presenting with mild symptoms and management of contacts

WHO has developed this rapid advice note to meet the need for recommendations on the safe home care for patients with suspected novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection presenting with mild symptoms and public health measures related to management of asymptomatic contacts.

Q&A on infection prevention and control for health care workers caring for patients with suspected or confirmed 2019-nCoV

Are boots, impermeable aprons, or coverall suits required as routine person protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers (HCW) caring for patients with suspected or confirmed 2019-nCoV infection? Can disposable medical face masks be sterilized and reused? Do patients with suspected or confirmed 2019-nCoV need to be hospitalized if they have mild illness? Here you will find answers to these and other questions related to infection prevention and control for health care workers caring for patients with suspected or confirmed 2019-nCoV.

Water, sanitation, hygiene and waste management for COVID-19

This interim guidance is the second edition and supplements existing IPC documents by referring to and summarizing the latest evidence on COVID-19 in water supplies and sanitation and highlights WHO guidance on water, sanitation, hand hygiene and health care waste which is relevant for viruses (including coronaviruses). It is written in particular for water and sanitation practitioners and providers.

Guide to local production of WHO-recommended Handrub Formulations

Part A is intended to guide a local producer in the actual preparation of the formulation.

Part B contains important safety and cost information and incorporates information from the WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care (2009).

Sciarides: prevention and control

Maintaining social distancing is key to delay the spread of COVID-19 in Hong Kong. The Government will publish the Prevention and Control of Disease (Prohibition on Group Gathering) Regulation (the Regulation) (Cap.599G) in the Gazette today (March 28), with a view to combating the COVID-19 epidemic with resolute and stringent measures. The Regulation will commence at 0.00am on March 29 and take effect for three months.

In accordance with the Regulation, the Secretary for Food and Health (SFH) will issue a notice in the Gazette today to prohibit group gatherings with more than four people in public places, which will take effect at 0.00am on March 29 for 14 days.

The Regulation empowers the Secretary for Food and Health (SFH), for preventing, protecting against, delaying or otherwise controlling the incidence or transmission of the specified disease, to prohibit any group gathering of more than 4 persons in any public place during a specified period.

Exempted group gatherings are listed in the Schedule 1 to the Regulation —

  1. Group gathering for the purposes of or related to transportation
  2. Group gathering for performing any governmental function
  3. Group gathering for performing any duty of a statutory body or an advisory body of the Government
  4. Group gathering at a place of work for the purposes of work
  5. Group gathering for providing, obtaining or receiving hospital or healthcare service at a healthcare facility
  6. Group gathering of persons living in the same household
  7. Group gathering necessary for the conduct of proceedings in a court, magistrates’ court or tribunal
  8. Group gathering necessary for the proceedings in the Legislative Council or a District Council
  9. Group gathering during a funeral or any other occasion for mourning for or remembering a deceased who has yet to be buried or cremated (including any ritual or ceremony held in the vicinity of the place where the deceased died or suffered fatal injury to mourn for the death of the deceased)
  10. Group gathering of not more than 20 persons during a wedding ceremony at which no food or drink is served
  11. Group gathering at a meeting of a body that must be held within a specified period in order to comply with any Ordinance or other regulatory instrument that governs the operation of the body or its business
  12. Group gathering held for imparting information or skills, or handling supplies or items, that are conducive to the prevention and control of the specified disease

Moreover, the Regulation also empowers the Chief Secretary for Administration to permit any group gathering if the Chief Secretary for Administration is satisfied that the taking place of the gathering —

(a) is necessary for governmental operation; or
(b) because of the exceptional circumstances of the case, otherwise serves the public interest of Hong Kong.

Any person who participates in a prohibited group gathering; organises a prohibited group gathering; owns, controls or operates the place of the gathering; and knowingly allows the taking place of the gathering, commits an offence. Offenders are liable to a maximum penalty of a fine at level 4 ($25,000) and imprisonment for six months. Persons who participates in a prohibited group gathering may discharge liability for the offence by paying a fixed penalty of $2,000.

The Director of Health may appoint any public officer as an authorised officer for the purposes of implementing the Regulation. The authorisied officer may demand personal details and inspect the proof of identity as well as disperse prohibited group gatherings.

In accordance with the Regulation, the SFH will issue a notice in the Gazette today. The prohibition of group gatherings with more than four people in public places will commence at 0.00am on March 29 for a period of 14 days (i.e. till April 11).

The Government has been reviewing and will adjust relevant measures and their feasibility in view of the latest developments. A Government spokesman said that putting in place the Regulation could help further enhance social distancing and prevent mass gatherings. When making the Regulation, the Government has taken into account the activities and premises/places with high risks of COVID-19 infection, as well as overseas practices.

The Regulation is made in accordance with the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance (Cap. 599). Section 8 of the Ordinance empowers the Chief Executive in Council to make public health emergency regulation for the purposes of preventing, combating or alleviating the effects of a public health emergency and protecting public health.

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) reminds members of the public to maintain an appropriate social distance with other people as far as possible in their daily lives. In particular, they should go out less and avoid social activities such as meal gatherings or other gatherings.

The CHP strongly urges the public to maintain at all times strict personal and environmental hygiene, which is key to personal protection against infection and prevention of the spread of the disease in the community. On a personal level, members of the public should wear a surgical mask when having respiratory symptoms, taking public transport or staying in crowded places. They should also perform hand hygiene frequently, especially before touching the mouth, nose or eyes.

Sciarides: prevention and control

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This course will cover the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures required in order to:

  • Be prepared and ready to respond to an outbreak, in particular, the one due to COVID-19.
  • Limit human to human transmission by way of implementing WHO recommended IPC interventions.
  • Identify, isolate and report suspect and confirmed cases.

There are resources attached to each module to help you dive further into this topic.

Learning objectives:

On completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • define IPC and its role in the context of preparedness, readiness and response;
  • describe the current epidemiological COVID-19 situation, including case definitions and signs & symptoms;
  • describe source control, administrative controls and environmental and engineering controls;
  • describe the WHO-recommended IPC measures for health care facilities, including when dealing with suspect or confirmed COVID-19 cases;
  • describe additional IPC measures to be taken to assist in general preparedness within a health care facility.

Course duration: Approximately 1 hour.

Certificates: A Confirmation of Participation is available to participants who complete 100% of the course material.

Tobacco Prevention and Control Program

Tobacco is Wisconsin’s leading cause of preventable death and costs the state more than $4.6 billion annually in health care and lost productivity expenses. The Wisconsin Tobacco Prevention and Control Program (TPCP) is dedicated to reducing tobacco’s burden. Here you will find information on the TPCP’s comprehensive efforts as well as fact sheets and quitting resources for tobacco use.

Letter to School Districts Promotes E-Cigarette Quitting Resources for Youth

Governor Tony Evers, Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm, and State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor are letting schools know what they can do to prevent youth e-cigarette use. In a joint letter on e-cigarettes to Wisconsin school district administrators, they outlined steps school districts can take to address the issue, like:

  • Providing resources on putting in place extensive tobacco-free school policies,
  • Adding the dangers of e-cigarette use into health curriculum, and
  • Connecting addicted youth with resources to help them stop using tobacco.

Learn about the resources available to help youth quit and prevent them from starting in the first place by reading the letter below.

Currently, not everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. In addition to tobacco industry using targeted marketing, obstacles like poverty and discrimination increase rates of retail tobacco use. This leads to poor health outcomes for those with fewer resources and less power in society.

Free help to quit tobacco is available. Call 800-QUIT NOW (784-8669) for free help, or if you’re enrolled in Medicaid, talk to your doctor about the free help provided through the Medicaid cessation benefit.

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Tips From Former Smokers®

The U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) is marking the ninth anniversary of the life-saving Tips From Former Smokers campaign by launching new ads featuring individuals living with tobacco-related diseases like cancer, Buerger’s disease, heart disease, and COPD.

FDA Graphic Warning Labels for Cigarette Packs

The FDA unveiled new graphic cigarette pack warning labels on March 17, 2020. The warnings are required to appear starting June 18, 2021, and must occupy the top 50% of cigarette packs and at least 20% of cigarette ads. The warnings highlight a number of health risks, and must be randomly and equally displayed on cigarette packages and rotated quarterly in cigarette ads.

New Federal Tobacco 21 Law

On December 20, 2019, the President signed legislation to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and raise the federal minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years. It is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product, including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes, to anyone under the age of 21. Please see the Federal Food and Drug Administration website regarding the change to this law.

Partial E-Cigarette Flavor Restriction

On January 2, the Federal Food and Drug Administration announced a new policy focused on some flavors in pod or cartridge-based e-cigarettes. The policy prohibits fruit, candy, and mint flavors in those e-cigarette products, but allows menthol and tobacco flavors to continue. The policy also exempts e-juice flavors for open systems like mod and tank-based e-cigarettes. Examples of the different types of e-cigarettes can be found on the CDC website. The policy takes effect 30 days from when it is published in the federal registrar.

Tobacco is Changing

It’s hard for parents to keep track of all the kid-friendly flavors tobacco now comes in. That’s why the Department of Health Services (DHS) created the new Tobacco is Changing campaign. On the Tobacco is Changing page, parents can learn about the different types of tobacco products temping their kids, as well as key tobacco issues like flavoring and packaging, and get tips for helping their kids stay tobacco-free. Learn more at

E-Cigarettes: Unproven and Unregulated

Electronic cigarettes (or e-cigarettes) are oral devices that can be used to simulate smoking and that produce an aerosol of nicotine and/or other substances. Little is known about the safety or efficacy of e-cigarettes as they have not been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and are not currently regulated. For proven tools to help you quit tobacco use, visit our Help to Quit page.

Secondhand Smoke: Still a Problem

Secondhand smoke remains a health concern for many. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that two in every five children (and seven out of 10 African-American children) are exposed to secondhand smoke, as well as more than one in three nonsmokers who live in rental housing. To learn more about smoke-free multi-unit housing efforts in Wisconsin, visit Clear Gains — Wisconsin’s Smoke-Free Housing Initiative.

Other Tobacco Products: Attracting New Users

Tobacco also comes in other forms like chew, snus, cigars and cigarillos. Even though these products can cause serious health problems like heart disease and cancer, their cheaper price and candy and fruit flavors like cherry and grape make them increasingly appealing to youth.

Smoke-Free Public Housing Rule

A rule from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requiring all Public Housing Authorities to be smoke-free took effect on July 31, 2018. Learn more at HUD’s website.

Fast Facts

Visit the General Information and Data page for more research findings.

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