Protect Residents and Staff Ahead of Fall and Winter Respiratory Season

COVID-19; Programs and Resources

Respiratory season can be dangerous for individuals 65 and up and those with underlying health conditions. COVID-19, influenza (Flu) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are commonly spread in the fall and winter. Elderly individuals residing in nursing homes and assisted living communities are most at risk of complications due to these respiratory illnesses.   

While not all residents and patients will get severely ill or be hospitalized due to a respiratory virus, there’s no way to know who will be impacted and who will become seriously ill or hospitalized. Taking these steps for all residents and staff will help prevent a crisis. 
  • Get Vaccinated Against Common Respiratory Viruses: Vaccination remains one of the most effective, safe ways to build immunity and prevent serious illness, hospitalizations, and death. Provide the recommended flu, RSV and COVID-19 vaccines to residents and staff. AHCA/NCAL released a #GetVaccinated Toolkit to support your efforts in rolling out these vaccines to residents and staff. 

  • Adhere to CDC Infection Control Guidance: Providers should adhere to the latest CDC infection control guidance for COVID-19, as well as guidance during a flu outbreak. This includes core infection control practices such as hand hygiene, source control masking and PPE use.  

  • Communicate: Consider using signage, staff meetings, huddles, and other methods of communication to encourage masking when community rates of respiratory illness are high, reinforce the importance of hand hygiene, and remind staff to stay home while sick. 

  • Treat: We now have access to effective treatments for both flu and COVID-19. Make sure you are providing access to these treatments to your residents even if they have been vaccinated as they can further reduce the risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death. 

The CDC has also released several respiratory virus resources specific to long term care providers: 

Questions? Contact us at​.