COVID-19 Advice and Guidance

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more respiratory illness such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).  Coronaviruses circulate in both human and animal populations and new variants can emerge when a coronavirus circulating in animals infects humans. COVID-19 is an example of a new variant of coronavirus that was first detected in human populations in Wuhan, China at the end of December 2019. Many countries around the world have seen cases of COVID-19 and several have been affected by outbreaks. Intensive containment strategies based on surveillance and control measures have been successful in slowing or stopping outbreaks in some countries, although there are some countries which now have evidence of established community transmission and where control of outbreaks is less likely to be achieved (WHO press statement 2nd March 2020).

The precise routes of transmission of COVID-19 are not yet clear.  However, coronaviruses are mainly transmitted by large respiratory droplets and direct or indirect contact with infected secretions. Other coronaviruses have been found in faeces and blood (PHE website).  Evidence from COVID-19 outbreaks suggests that most transmission occurs within family groups and other close contacts (WHO press statement 2nd March 2020).

At least 80% of cases will have mild disease and not require medical intervention, approximately 15% will have severe disease and 5% will require some form of critical care support.  The mortality rate is currently estimated at approximately 1%.  However, since many cases of COVID-19 are mild or asymptomatic they are undetected and in the absence of serological tests there is a lack of certainly of the exact number of cases and hence attack rate (WHO press statement 2nd March 2020).

Key sources of advice and guidance

Public Health England Campaign Resources
A range of public information information and posters for acute and community settings that can be easily downloaded by registering on the website.

Public Health England Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance 
All current coronavirus guidance produced by HM Government.  Includes guidance for healthcare professionals for a full range of acute and non-acute clinical settings and guidance for non-clinical settings such as schools, businesses and social care.

NHS England
Comprehensive list of briefing notes, standing operating procedures and links to wide range of guidance documents.

NHS website
Simple guidance on signs and symptoms, travel advice and infection control.

Health Protection Scotland 
Non-healthcare settings:

NHS Inform 

Public Health Wales 

Public Health Agency


Using PPE for Covid-19 in Intensive Care Settings
14 May 2020 
Q&A document - click here: These Q &As focus on the importance of standard infection control precautions and describe how to apply the national guidance whilst protecting both patients and staff. 
FilmProfessor Jennie Wilson and Professor Hugh Montgomery discuss how to safely use personal protective equipment in the ITU to protect both patients and staff during the Covid-19 pandemic:

Strategies for managing acute shortages of personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic 
Click here - 23 April 2020 
This document has been developed to guide infection prevention and control teams in light of the current acute shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) due to the COVID-19 epidemic.   

IPS and BACCN Joint statement on Facilitating compassionate care for patients dying with COVID-19
Click here - 15 April 2020
This guidance has been developed to enable care givers to provide confident safe & compassionate end of life care during the COVID19 epidemic. 

IPS Training Package
Click here - updated 08.04.2020
This set of 32 PowerPoint slides covers the basics of COVID-19 infection prevention & control and you are welcome to adapt them to support training of healthcare workers in your own workplace. They have been developed by IPS Board members and are based on the latest PHE guidance.  We will endeavour to keep them updated as this changes.

IPS Training Package for the Operating Department
Click here- updated 14.04.2020
IPS collaboratively with the Association for Perioperative Practice (AfPP), the Central Sterilising Club (CSC) and OneTogether have created a set of 29 PowerPoint slides for COVID-19 infection prevention & control for the Operating Department based  on the PHE guidance.

IPS Training Package for Care Homes
Click hereupdated 14.05.2020 
This set of training slides has been prepared in conjunction with the IPS Care Home SIG for COVID-19 infection prevention & control for nursing & residential care homes. These slides have been updated to support the roll-out of IPC training in care homes. They now include information about managing outbreaks and taking swabs.

What is the evidence for airborne transmission of COVID-19?
IPS Vice President Professor Jennie Wilson has put together a summary of the evidence on survival of COVID19 in air and on surfaces and the evidence for risks of transmission from AGP from acute respiratory viruses.  The evidence still suggests that surgical facemasks are adequate for routine care.

Guidance on managing suspected cases of COVID19

NHS Dumfries & Galloway
Good hygiene advice to deal with bugs 

Teaching video - full body suit PPE demonstration - COVID-19
Dr Toney Thomas (previous IPS Branch Coordinator Ireland) and his colleague from Beaumont Hospital, Dublin have produced a video on full body suit PPE for during the COVID pandemic. Click Here.

FREE COVID-19 Awareness course
This free COVID-19 resource is delivered via Skills for Health, who are one of the leading UK providers of online learning for healthcare, including Statutory/Mandatory training such as Infection Prevention and Control.  Click Here.

Elsevier have made COVID-19 related articles freely available. 

Accepted Manuscript for Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology 
This is an Accepted Manuscript for Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology as part of the Cambridge Coronavirus Collection - 
Click Here

For schools:
Slides which can be downloaded, edited and added to to suit schools branding. Based on advice from 111 and government/NHS sources.

Quality Improvement Tools for Care Homes: 
Process Improvement Tool: Care Home (version 2) 
Rapid Improvement Tool: Care Home (version 2)