IHCA Coronavirus Guidance

Strategies for health care providers

In addition to attending the above member calls, health care providers should use the following strategies known to reduce the spread of respiratory viruses. We know that many of these suggestions are things you have been doing already in your settings.

  • Monitor your staff and visitors for hand washing or use of alcohol hand gels.
  • Review your contact isolation procedures and make sure staff follow them consistently.
  • Review plans for cohorting residents in the same room or wing who become sick to prevent the spread to other residents and staff, should an outbreak continue to grow.
  • Remind staff, contractors, volunteers to stay home if they are sick.
  • Post notices for visitors who are sick to stop visiting, and work with families on alternate ways to visit their family members, like Skype, phone calls and email.
  • Make sure your infection preventionist is monitoring the CDC COVID-19 website and the IHCA Weekly Bulletin for the latest information on COVID-19 prevention strategies, testing guidance and recommendations for health care workers.


In addition to the strategies above, here are a few additional recommendations:  
1. Providers need to follow guidelines for testing persons suspected of having COVID-19. Follow the quickly changing guidelines published here.

2. Providers should offer information to staff and their families on what they can do to protect themselves. Per the CDC, this includes the following preventative actions known to prevent the spread of viruses:

  • Washing your hands, using alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  • Covering your cough.
  • Staying home when you are sick, which includes any of the following: fever, cough, runny nose or sore throat.
  • The CDC does NOT currently recommend the general public to use face-masks.
  1. We understand there are current shortages in the supply chain for certain Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). There are a number of strategies for health care providers on how to optimize supplies of N95 respirators in the face of decreasing supply. These strategies include:
  • Assure the N95s are used appropriately by staff. Assure the policy is followed on when to wear them.
  • Dispense as needed. Have enough available for staff to use when required, but don’t put all the supply out.
  • Do not put N95s on the patients.
  • Take measures to secure current stock so they are not pilfered.

You can learn more about the CDC’s strategies for optimizing the supply of PPE here.