COVID-19 resources on Infection control

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Opening schools safely in the COVID-19 era: school social workers’ experiences and recommendations: a research brief for policymakers

University of California

This policy brief presents data from a national survey of school social workers (SSWs) exploring the impacts of COVID-19 school disruptions in the United States. It highlights the need to address hunger, housing instability, health, mental health and other challenges that a high proportion of students are experiencing, especially low-income students. From a capacity perspective, SSWs in the study report that sizable proportions of students are suffering from difficulties due to discrimination, family discord, child abuse, language difficulties, and community violence; SSWs are called to perform the same Herculean tasks that face other educators and school staff in this pandemic but there are concerns that this work is being done with few resources, outside supports, or governmental guidance; greater supports, like the personal protective equipment (PPE) given to health care professions, are needed for educational staff and social workers who are on the front lines of the pandemic. The paper argues that given SSWs’ ecological view and historical commitment to under-served communities, their voices should be heard in planning school reopening. Based on the findings from the survey, the brief recommends the following actions: create a rapid-response team of school professionals from multiple fields to develop a systemic, national response to support schools; prioritise the response to the most hard-hit schools and communities; develop three evidence-driven national plans, one for in-person instruction, one for online, and one for a hybrid; provide additional supports and resources, including more trained social workers sent to the most stressed schools and communities.

Last updated on hub: 20 August 2020

Opening schools safely in the COVID-19 era: school social workers’ experiences and recommendations: technical report

University of California

This report summarises initial findings from a national survey of school social workers’ (SSWs) (n=1,275) practising across the United States. Findings highlight serious challenges facing schools, school staff, and students. Some of these challenges are specifically related to educational goals, but many are related to basic needs that are a prerequisite to academic and social emotional learning. Many SSWs reported having limited to no contact with some of their students because they couldn’t establish a connection with them during the shutdown; they expressed significant concerns about the motivation and engagement of the 81% of students with whom they did work; and reported that a majority of their students and families had profound, immediate, and urgent needs related to food insufficiency (62.4%), housing instability (42.8), health issues (61.6%), individualised student tutoring (62.3%), and mental health services (75.7%). While findings speak to the dynamism and creativity of SSWs in this pandemic, findings also revealed many troubling and serious issues that need immediate attention as schools plan how to re-open in the fall. Implications for professional development, district supports, university training, and a national effort to reconnect a potential “lost generation of students” are discussed and outlined. The report makes a series of recommendations, including a call to action for the various school social work organisations to join together to help SSWs and their school communities respond effectively as the pandemic continues to impact on the academic and social experience of children.

Last updated on hub: 20 August 2020

Our plan to rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy

Cabinet Office

This document describes the progress the UK has made to date in tackling the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and sets out the plans for moving to the next phase of its response to the virus. The strategy sets out a roadmap to easing existing measures and lift restrictions. It also provides details of the fourteen supporting programmes of work that will be delivered by the Government to achieve this. These include work to support care homes during the pandemic and strengthen the protections against infection of care home residents.

Last updated on hub: 08 June 2020

Outcomes in French nursing homes that implemented staff confinement with residents

Question: Was self-confinement of staff members with residents in French nursing homes during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic associated with better outcomes related to COVID-19 compared with overall national outcomes? Findings: This cohort study including 17 nursing homes with staff self-confinement and 9513 nursing homes in a national survey found that nursing homes with staff self-confinement experienced lower mortality related to COVID-19 among residents and lower incidence of COVID-19 among residents and staff members than rates recorded in a national survey. Meaning: These findings suggest that self-confinement of nursing home staff members with residents may help protect residents from mortality related to COVID-19 and residents and staff from COVID-19 infection. Citation: Belmin J. et al. (2020). Coronavirus disease 2019 outcomes in French nursing homes that implemented staff confinement with residents. JAMA network open, 3(8), e2017533-e2017533.

Last updated on hub: 13 November 2020

Outreach during Covid-19: encouraging older people’s social connection using outdoor ‘Face mask pop-ups’

Ageing Better in Camden

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ageing Better in Camden (ABC) Outreach Team had to find new ways to proactively find and engage with the socially isolated older people who ‘no one knows’. This group includes individuals who may be reluctant to access formal activities, help and support. Between August and October, the Team held 18 pop-ups in 13 different locations around Camden and met 234 older people (109 men and 125 women). The Team plan their pop-up events to help meet both the practical and emotional needs of older people, including the need for social connection, which may have been brought about or exacerbated by the pandemic. The report documents this adapted outreach practice and sets out what the Outreach Team learnt at these events about some of the main challenges faced by older people as a result of Covid-19. Through pop-up encounters, the Team built up a picture of the substantial challenges faced by some older people as a result of Covid-19 including: a need for social contact; going out as an act of courage; barriers to interaction once out; disruption to social networks and support; exacerbation of trauma; loss of normal life and identity; difficulty accessing services; and fear and loss of hope.

Last updated on hub: 22 March 2021

Over-exposed and under-protected: the devastating impact of COVID-19 on black and minority ethnic communities in Great Britain

Runnymede Trust, The

Findings of a survey exploring black and minority ethnic (BME) peoples experiences of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, and focusing on the impact of the pandemic on their physical and mental health, work, finances, relationships, childcare and schooling, and their understanding of the governments COVID-19 social and economic measures. The 2,585 adults (aged 18+) sampled for this survey included a ‘boost’ sample of 538 BME adults, taking the overall sample of BME respondents to 750 in the whole survey. Black and minority ethnic people are over-represented in COVID-19 severe illness and deaths - pre-existing racial and socioeconomic inequalities, resulting in disparities in co-morbidities between ethnic groups, have been amplified by COVID-19. The survey shows that BME people face greater barriers in shielding from coronavirus as a result of the types of employment they hold; they make greater use of public transport, are more likely to live in overcrowded and multigenerational households, and are less likely to be given appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) at work. The survey also finds that BME groups are much less aware of the governments life-saving public health messaging around Covid-19, leaving them under-protected and vulnerable to coronavirus. The report makes a number of recommendations, including ensuring employers carry out risk assessments for staff with vulnerable characteristics, including black and minority ethnic backgrounds; ensuring that all key workers in public-facing roles have access to adequate PPE; prioritising a tailored Find, Test, Trace, Isolate and Support (FTTIS) programme ensuring vulnerable BME communities are identified and supported; strengthening the social security safety net; and increasing Statutory Sickness Pay and widen eligibility.

Last updated on hub: 06 August 2020

Overview of adult social care guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19)

Department of Health and Social Care

Brings together information for adult social care providers on COVID-19 guidance and support. The resource covers help with infection prevention and control; what to do when you suspect an outbreak; reporting an outbreak; caring for patients discharged from hospital or another social care facility; visits to care homes and other care settings; information for providers of care in supported living and domiciliary settings; how to get social care workers and people in care homes tested; managing care workers during COVID-19; securing PPE and related supplies; help for holders of direct payments, commissioners and care providers; information for social care providers on mental health and wellbeing and financial support; Capacity Tracker and guidance on using it; information for unpaid carers; easements of the Care Act; COVID-19 ethical framework for adult social care; caring for people who are protected by safeguards under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, including the deprivation of liberty safeguards; steps to take following a coronavirus-related death of a person who worked in adult social care. [First published 25 August 2020; Last updated 10 June 2021]

Last updated on hub: 27 August 2020

Ownership and COVID-19 in care homes for older people: a living systematic review of outbreaks, infections, and mortalities


Background The adult social care sector is being increasingly outsourced to for-profit providers, but the impacts of privatisation on service quality and resident outcomes are unclear. During the COVID-19 pandemic, for-profit providers have been accused of failing their residents by prioritising profits over care, prevention, and caution, which has been reported to result in a higher prevalence of COVID-19 infections and deaths in for-profit care homes. Although many of these reports are anecdotal or based on news reports, there is a growing body of academic research investigating ownership variation across COVID-19 outcomes, which has not been systematically appraised and synthesised. Objectives To identify, appraise, and synthesise the available research on ownership variation in COVID-19 outcomes (outbreaks, infections, deaths, shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and staff) across for-profit, public, and non-profit care homes for older people, and to update the findings as new research becomes available. Design Living systematic review. Methods This review was prospectively registered with Prospero (CRD42020218673). The researchers searched 17 databases and performed forward and backward citation tracking of all included studies. Search results were screened and reviewed in duplicate. Risk of bias (RoB) was assessed in duplicate according to the COSMOS-E guidance. The results were synthesised according to RoB, model adjustment, and country context and visualised using harvest plots. Results Twenty-eight studies across five countries were included, with 75% of included studies conducted in the Unites States. For-profit ownership was not consistently associated with a higher probability of COVID-19 outbreaks across included studies. However, there was compelling evidence of worse COVID-19 outcomes following an outbreak; with for-profit care homes having higher rates of accumulative infections and deaths. For-profit providers were also associated with shortages in PPE, which may have contributed to the higher incidence of infections and deaths. Chain affiliation was often found to be correlated with higher risk of outbreaks, but not consistently associated with an elevated number of deaths and infections. Private equity ownership was not consistently associated with worse COVID-19 outcomes. Conclusion For-profit status was a consistent risk factor for higher cumulative COVID-19 infections and deaths. Thus, ownership among providers may be a key modifiable factor which can be regulated to improve health outcomes in vulnerable populations and reduce health disparities. This review will be updated as new research becomes published, which may change the conclusion of the synthesis.

Last updated on hub: 25 February 2021

Pandemic Patient Experience II: from lockdown to vaccine roll-out

Patients Association

This report outlines the findings of an online survey conducted from February 11th to April 5th 2021, following up key themes in our report of last year, Pandemic Patient Experience. The survey reveals that the struggles to access services that many patients experienced in the spring and summer of 2020 have been less severe since then, but have still continued to some extent. Many people have shielded during the pandemic, but most shielding has not been done in line with official advice. The impact of shielding, and the numbers of people who will find it hard to return to participating fully in society, may therefore be widely underestimated. Patient feedback on the vaccination programme is extremely positive. Most patients found communication about their vaccine appointment and the process for arranging it very positive. Patients’ views on the overall handling of the pandemic were somewhat mixed. Very few rated it as very good, but across the other response options there was a range of opinion, trending overall to the negative. Vaccinated respondents were clearly more likely to rate it positively than unvaccinated respondents, but this may simply reflect a well documented trend in views across age groups rather than people’s views being specifically influenced by whether or not they have had a vaccination.

Last updated on hub: 04 May 2021

Participants at adult day services centers and their caregivers

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Adult Day Services Centers (ADSCs), also known as adult day services or adult day care, provide social or health services to adults 65 and older living in communities and to adults of any age living with disability. Participants (adults who attend ADSCs) and their caregivers can also take steps to protect themselves and their loved ones by helping reduce the spread of COVID-19 at ADSC facilities and at home.

Last updated on hub: 19 April 2021

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