Flu and Respiratory Disease Information for Residential Facility Managers

Long-term care and other residential living facilities include nursing homes, adult day care, group homes, senior housing, shelters, correctional facilities, camps, and substance abuse facilities. Residents of these facilities may have a high risk of infections and complications during flu,pneumonia or other respiratoty outbreaks.

What you should do

Protect residents in advance

  • Vaccinate your patients, clients, or residents for flu and pneumonia.
  • Make sure that your staff members are vaccinated.

Report outbreaks

If you have 2 or more people at your facility who have flu-like symptoms (fever of more than 100° F and a cough and/or a sore throat) or other respiratory disease symptoms it is considered an outbreak. Even if you only have one confirmed case of influenza you are considered to have an outbreak because of the risk of spreading.

  • Call us 401-222-2488
  • Gather information on the number of people sick, their symptoms, and when they got ill and better. This information needs to be collected throughout the outbreak period and shared with our epidemiologists during the outbreak as needed and at the end of the outbreak for proper documentation.forms

Prevent the spread of flu during an outbreak

  • Restrict visitors with flu-like symptoms or other illnesses.
  • Separate residents with flu-like,or other respiratory disease symptoms from healthy residents. If sick residents cannot be placed in single rooms, create a temporary barrier between beds using sheets or curtains. Designate a limited number of staff members to care exclusively for sick residents. (Staff members should not be pregnant or have chronic health conditions.)
  • Maintain good ventilation in shared areas and open windows when possible.
  • Clean commonly-touched surfaces with household disinfectants frequently.
  • Do not share linens, eating utensils, or dishes belonging to those who are sick without thorough washing. Staff members should avoid “hugging” laundry before washing it to prevent contaminating themselves.
  • Be aware of the special health needs of people at-risk of flu-related complications.
  • Monitor your supplies including: flu vaccine, rapid flu or molecular flu testing, surgical face masks.
  • Make sure your unvaccinated healthcare workers wear surgical masks when they have direct patient contact. more

Annually report flu vaccination rates

Facilities are required to report their employee healthcare worker vaccination rates to the Department of Health annually.

What We Are Doing

  • Monitoring the spread of influenza statewide with particular attention to localized outbreaks in residential facilities, schools or communities. more
  • Declaring Widespread Flu when outbreaks reach an elevated level - this action triggers the requirement that all healthcare workers who have not been vaccinated against the disease must wear a surgical facemask during direct patient contact. more