New report: International examples of measures to prevent and manage COVID-19 outbreaks in residential care and nursing home settings

Adelina Comas-Herrera, Elizabeth C. Ashcroft and Klara Lorenz-Dant (Care Policy and Evaluation Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science)

In part due to the characteristics of the residents, in terms of age and underlying health conditions, and to the particular difficulties that living in a communal setting poses to physical distancing, in many countries there have been large numbers of deaths in care homes. In countries were the total number of deaths has been very high, as many as half of all COVID-19 deaths appear to have been among care home residents[1].

However, there are also countries, such as Hong Kong[2], where there have not been any COVID-19 infections in care homes yet, and others, such as South Korea[3] and Germany[4], where the share of deaths in care homes have been relatively low. While it is early to come to firm conclusions and there are many difficulties with data, these differences suggest that having large numbers of deaths as result of COVID-19 is not inevitable and that appropriate measures to prevent and control infections in care homes can save lives.

This new report provides examples of the policy and practice measures that have been adopted internationally to prevent COVID-19 infections in care homes and to mitigate their impact. The information has been gathered, mostly, from the country reports on the COVID-19 long-term care situation published here.

This is a “live” document that will be updated regularly and expanded as more information becomes available. Comments, updates, suggestions and additional information are very welcome. This first version simply aims to list the measures described in the current country reports but future versions will also seek to cover early evidence (as and when it becomes available) of the success of those measures in controlling COVID-19 infections, their impact on care home residents and staff, their sustainability and costs.

[1] In a few cases this report may have information that is not yet in the published version of the country report, as their authors have provided feedback to this document before the next update.





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