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HHS Releases Updated Outbreak Considerations for Long-Term Care Guidebook

Long term care (LTC) communities have unique health care concerns during infectious disease outbreaks and pandemics. Congregate living situations provide the opportunity for rapid disease spread, and LTC residents tend to have characteristics that put them at increased risk of severe illness or death due to infection, including older age and presence of comorbid conditions. The increased risk of exposure to and transmission of infectious diseases is also a concern for LTC staff, who have close physical contact with residents, often work extended shifts or in more than one location, and may require additional training in infection prevention practices.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response's (ASPR) Outbreak Considerations for Long-Term Care Communities guidebook, created in 2020 and revised in 2023, is a compilation of considerations for LTC communities based on lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic and infectious disease outbreaks and includes links to resources that can inform planning and response efforts.

LTC communities may find the guidebook useful when managing seasonal and other infectious disease outbreaks within the facility and while preparing for the potential introduction of an infectious disease circulating in the surrounding community. The updated version includes a new section with links to resources on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contact: Carrie Mosley, cmosley@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8383 ext. 147