COVID-19 resources

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Preventing COVID-19 spread in closed facilities by regular testing of employees – an efficient intervention in long-term care facilities and prisons

medRxiv

This article is a preprint and has not been peer-reviewed. Background Draconic control measures were introduced to contain the global COVID-19 pandemic, many of which have been controversial, particularly the comprehensive use of diagnostic tests. Regular testing of high-risk individuals (pre-existing conditions, older than 60 years of age) has been suggested by public health authorities. The WHO suggested the use of routine screening of residents, employees, and visitors of long-term care facilities (LTCF) to protect the resident risk group. Similar suggestions have been made by the WHO for other closed facilities including incarceration facilities (e.g., prisons or jails), where in parts of the US, accelerated release of approved inmates is taken as a measure to mitigate COVID-19. Methods and findings Here, the simulation model underlying the pandemic preparedness tool CovidSim 1.1 (http://covidsim.eu/) is extended to investigate the effect of regularly testing of employees in order to protect immobile resident risk groups in closed facilities. The reduction in the number of infections and deaths within the risk group are investigated as well as the potential economic gain resulting from savings in COVID-19 related treatment costs in comparison to costs resulting from the testing interventions. Our simulations are adjusted to reflect the situation of LTCFs in the Federal Republic of Germany. The probability is nearly one that COVID-19 spreads into closed facilities due to contact with infected employees even under strict confinement of visitors in a pandemic scenario without targeted protective measures. Regular screening of all employees by PCR tests provides a significant reduction of COVID-19 cases and related deaths in LTCFs. While the frequency of testing (testing rate) and the quality of tests have noticeable effects, the waiting time for obtaining test results (ranging from 12 up to 96 hours) hardly impacts the outcome. The results suggest that testing every two weeks with low-quality tests and a processing time of up to 96 hours yields a strong reduction in the number of cases. Rough estimates suggest a significant economic gain. Conclusions The introduction of COVID-19 in closed facilities is unavoidable without thorough screening of persons that can introduce the disease into the facility. These measures provide an economically meaningful way to protect vulnerable risk groups characterized by an elevated risk of severe infections in closed facilities, in which contact-reducing measures are difficult to implement due to imminent unavoidable close human-to-human contacts.

Last updated on hub: 13 November 2020

Preventing respiratory illness in older adults aged 60 years and above living in long-term care

Centre for Evidence Based Medicine

This rapid overview of reviews identifies evidence from systematic reviews on infection protection and control measures for preventing respiratory illness (including coronavirus and influenza) in older adults aged 60 years and above living in long-term care. The results of the included systematic reviews suggest that high quality evidence supports treating residents with antiviral chemoprophylaxis with adamantine, as well as adamantine in combination with personal protective equipment. For the rest of the strategies, there was either no evidence of effectiveness (e.g., social isolation) or mixed evidence of effectiveness (e.g., rimantadine, zanamivir, hand hygiene, personal protective equipment). The mixed evidence on hand hygiene and use of personal protective equipment does not imply these should not be used in outbreaks.

Last updated on hub: 06 May 2020

Preventing the disadvantage gap from increasing during and after the Covid-19 pandemic

Education Policy Institute

This policy paper contains an assessment of the likely impact of COVID-19 on the outcomes of children and young people, particularly the most disadvantaged. The research finds that disadvantaged pupils are over 18 months behind their more affluent peers in attainment by age 16. In recent years, this gap has stopped closing and, even before the pandemic, there was a real risk that the gap would start to widen. The impact of the pandemic is expected to increase that risk. Research on attainment of children who have missed significant periods of schooling due to authorised absences suggest a large overall impact on attainment in addition to widening of the disadvantage gap that is expected based on studies of summer learning loss. In order to minimise the impact of COVID-19, particularly for the most vulnerable pupils, the paper makes a series of recommendations for government in relation to the role of wider services in supporting vulnerable children and young people; the effect of the pandemic in the early years; the cancellation of formal exams in summer 2020; supporting the most vulnerable groups; supporting young people in post-16, vocational and higher education; and improving the resilience of the sector in case of any future national emergency.

Last updated on hub: 30 June 2020

Preventing the transmission of COVID-19 and other coronaviruses in older adults aged 60 years and above living in long-term care: a rapid review

Systematic reviews

Background: The objective of this review was to examine the current guidelines for infection prevention and control (IPAC) of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) or other coronaviruses in adults 60 years or older living in long-term care facilities (LTCF). Methods: EMBASE, MEDLINE, Cochrane library, pre-print servers, clinical trial registries, and relevant grey literature sources were searched until July 31, 2020, using database searching and an automated method called Continuous Active Learning(CAL). All search results were processed using CAL to identify the most likely relevant citations that were then screened by a single human reviewer. Full-text screening, data abstraction, and quality appraisal were completed by a single reviewer and verified by a second. Results: Nine clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) were included. The most common recommendation in the CPGs was establishing surveillance and monitoring systems followed by mandating the use of PPE; physically distancing or cohorting residents; environmental cleaning and disinfection; promoting hand and respiratory hygiene among residents, staff, and visitors; and providing sick leave compensation for staff. Conclusions: Current evidence suggests robust surveillance and monitoring along with support for IPAC initiatives are key to preventing the spread of COVID-19 in LTCF. However, there are significant gaps in the current recommendations especially with regard to the movement of staff between LTCF and their role as possible transmission vectors.

Last updated on hub: 07 December 2020

Princess Homecare: collaborative working and maintaining quality

Princess Homecare

Practice example about how Princess Homecare, a small domiciliary care agency in Wiltshire has coped during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes the support provided by the Council and how they have kept a log of actions and activities taken due to COVID-19 Also covers some of the key challenges and learning points to date.

Last updated on hub: 16 July 2020

Priority groups for coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination: advice from the JCVI, 2 December 2020

Department of Health and Social Care

This advice is provided to facilitate the development of policy on COVID-19 vaccination in the UK. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises that the first priorities for any COVID-19 vaccination programme should be the prevention of COVID-19 mortality and the protection of health and social care staff and systems. As the risk of mortality from COVID-19 increases with age, prioritisation is primarily based on age. Secondary priorities could include vaccination of those at increased risk of hospitalisation and at increased risk of exposure, and to maintain resilience in essential public services. This document sets out a framework for refining future advice on a national COVID-19 vaccination strategy.

Last updated on hub: 07 December 2020

Problem posing during the COVID19 pandemic

Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care

Starting a new residential childcare service can be a daunting task at the best of times and, it could be argued, even more daunting during the wake of a global pandemic. Located in North Ayrshire, Compass Child and Family Services is a small charity providing support to children and families. The charity’s first children’s house, named Taigh Araich (which translated from Gaelic to English means Nurture House), opened its doors to its first child during March 2020. The charity utilises the Social Pedagogy perspective within its philosophy of care and is beginning to connect the perspective to the Scottish context. In this article Joe Gibb, residential service manager at Taigh Araich, provides an overview of some of the learning that has taken place during the past five months. Joe concludes by arguing that social pedagogy and the GIRFEC (Getting It Right For Every Child) national practice model in Scotland, have an excellent fit in which a new residential childcare paradigm could emerge as society begins to make sense of the new normal that awaits its citizens.

Last updated on hub: 27 November 2020

Problem posing during the COVID19 pandemic: rethinking the use of residential childcare

Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care

Starting a new residential childcare service can be a daunting task at the best of times and, it could be argued, even more daunting during the wake of a global pandemic. Located in North Ayrshire, Compass Child and Family Services is a small charity providing support to children and families. The charity’s first children’s house, named Taigh Araich (which translated from Gaelic to English means Nurture House), offered a home to its first child during March 2020. The charity utilises the Social Pedagogy perspective within its philosophy of care and is beginning to connect the perspective to the Scottish context. In this article Joe Gibb, residential service manager at Taigh Araich, provides an overview of some of the learning that has taken place during the past five months. Joe concludes by arguing that social pedagogy and the GIRFEC (Getting It Right For Every Child) national practice model in Scotland, have an excellent fit in which a new residential childcare paradigm could emerge as society begins to make sense of the new normal that awaits its citizens.

Last updated on hub: 06 October 2020

Producing ‘top tips’ for care home staff during the COVID-19 pandemic in England: rapid reviews inform evidence-based practice but reveal major gaps

Journal of Long-Term Care

Context: The work presented in this paper was undertaken during the first three months of the COVID-19 crisis in the UK. Objectives: The project is aimed to respond to questions and concerns raised by front-line care staff during this time, by producing research-based ‘Top Tips’ to complement emerging COVID-19 policy and practice guidelines. Methods: Eight rapid, expert reviews of published, multidisciplinary research evidence were conducted to help answer care home workers’ questions about ‘how’ to support residents, family members and each other at a time of unprecedented pressure and grief and adhere to guidance on self-distancing and isolation. A review of the emerging policy guidelines published up to the end of April 2020 was also undertaken. Findings: The rapid reviews revealed gaps in research evidence, with research having a lot to say about what care homes should do and far less about how they should do it. The policy review highlighted the expectations and demands placed on managers and direct care workers as the pandemic spread across the UK. Implications: This paper highlights the value of working with the sector to co-design and co-produce research and pathways to knowledge with those who live, work and care in care homes. To have a real impact on care practice, research in care homes needs to go beyond telling homes ‘what’ to do by working with them to find out ‘how’.

Last updated on hub: 06 November 2020

Professional practice guidance for children and families social work during Covid-19

British Association of Social Workers England

Practice guidance support frontline practitioners and provide a framework to influence good practice within the workplace, as well as helping social workers to manage the ethical and emotional impact of their work. Developed by the British Association of Social Workers, the guidance is based on best available evidence, latest public health guidance, practice experience. It highlights the importance of strengths-based and relationship-based practice. It also provides a checklist to help social workers to order their thinking when working with vulnerable children and their families and when meeting their own support needs. It includes links to resources and organisations providing additional support for children, families and their social workers.

Last updated on hub: 11 May 2020