Checklist for setting up isolation wards and facilities

This checklist is to fast-track setting up of isolation facilities and ensuring infection prevention and control at these wards/facilities.

Earmarking the area

[ ] Ensure that appropriate handwashing facilities and hand-hygiene supplies are available, including liquid soap, water, paper towels and alcohol handrub.

[ ] Post signs on the door indicating that the space is an isolation area.

[ ] Do not allow visitors inside isolation rooms.

[ ] Access to isolation rooms should be limited to dedicated lifts or guarded stairs.

[ ] Remove all non-essential furniture and ensure that the remaining furniture is easy to clean, and does not conceal or retain dirt or moisture within or around it.

[ ] Setup a trolley outside the door to hold PPE and keep the trolley stocked. See the stock checklist here.

Airflow management

[ ] Try to identify rooms that are disconnected from central air-conditioning but have appropriate airflow for isolation. Such isolation facility should have large windows on opposite walls of the room allowing a natural unidirectional flow and air changes.

[ ] Negative pressure, under resource constrained settings could also be created through putting up 3-4 exhaust fans driving air out of the room

[ ] If recirculation of air from isolation rooms to other rooms is unavoidable, HEPA filters should be installed in the exhaust duct leading from the isolation rooms to the general ventilation system. This could also be augmented by standard UV filters which could be set up by an electrician and may not be prohibitively expensive.

[ ] Corridors with frequent patient transport should be well-ventilated

Furnishings in the isolation facilities or quarantine area

[ ] Avoid items with hard-to-clean features (e.g., crevasses)

[ ] Avoid materials that hold moisture, such as wood or cloth, as these facilitate microbial growth.

[ ] Avoid items with porous surfaces, such as cotton, wood and nylon

[ ] Avoid porous plastics, such as polypropylene, in patient care areas

[ ] Avoid items with seams

[ ] Do not use carpets or upholstered furniture in patient care areas.

Reducing cross-contamination

[ ] Individual bathrooms for isolated persons (or family unit) is ideal.

[ ] If multiple individuals (not from same family unit) are placed in isolation in the same facility, ensure that all individuals have COVID-19 do not have other contagious diseases or conditions that may put others at risk (e.g., active tuberculosis, infections caused by multidrugresistant organisms, or respiratory infections other than COVID-19).

[ ] Dedicate non-critical patient-care equipment (e.g. stethoscope, thermometer, blood pressure cuff and sphygmomanometer) to the patient, if possible. Thoroughly clean and disinfect patient-care equipment that is required for use by other patients before use.

[ ] Place an appropriate container with a lid outside the door for equipment that requires disinfection or sterilization.