August 2020 Interim EuGMS guidance to prepare European Long-Term Care Facilities for COVID-19

Hubert Blain*, Yves Rolland, Jos M. G. A. Schols, Antonio Cherubini, Stephanie Miot, Desmond O'Neill, Finbarr C. Martin, Olivier Guerin, Gaetan Gavazzi, Jean Bousquet, Mirko Petrovic, Adam L. Gordon, Athanase Benetos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Key summary pointsAim To guide LTCFs in preventing the entrance and spread of SARS-CoV-2. Findings The guidance is based upon the literature available on August 17, 2020. It lists (1) measures that can be implemented to keep COVID-19 out of LTCFs, and (2) COVID-19 symptoms that require RT-PCR testing in residents, staff members and visitors. It also (3) indicates the strategy to be used when a first LCTF resident or staff member is infected, and (4) proposes measures to limit adverse effects of the quarantine of residents tested positive for COVID-19. Message The EuGMS guidance enables LTCFs to adapt and suitably implement infection prevention and control measures, considering that the priorities are (1) early detection of symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 residents, staff members and visitors who contribute to the entrance and dissemination of COVID-19 infection in LTCFs and (2) to limit the negative effects of isolation in infected residents.

Purpose The European Geriatric Medicine Society (EuGMS) is launching a second interim guidance whose aim is to prevent the entrance and spread of COVID-19 into long-term care facilities (LTCFs). Methods The EuGMS gathered experts to propose a guide of measures to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks in LTCFs. It is based on the specific features of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in LTCFs, residents' needs, and on experiences conducted in the field. Results Asymptomatic COVID-19 residents and staff members contribute substantially to the dissemination of COVID-19 infection in LTCFs. An infection prevention and control focal point should be set up in every LTCF for (1) supervising infection prevention and control measures aimed at keeping COVID-19 out of LTCFs, (2) RT-PCR testing of residents, staff members, and visitors with COVID-19 symptoms, even atypical, and (3) isolating subjects either infected or in contact with infected subjects. When a first LCTF resident or staff member is infected, a facility-wide RT-PCR test-retest strategy should be implemented for detecting all SARS-CoV-2 carriers. Testing should continue until no new COVID-19 cases are identified. The isolation of residents should be limited as much as possible and associated with measures aiming at limiting its negative effects on their mental and somatic health status. Conclusions An early recognition of symptoms compatible with COVID-19 may help to diagnose COVID-19 residents and staff more promptly. Subsequently, an earlier testing for SARS-CoV-2 symptomatic and asymptomatic LTCF staff and residents will enable the implementation of appropriate infection prevention and control. The negative effects of social isolation in residents should be limited as much as possible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)899-913
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Geriatric Medicine
Issue number6
Early online date3 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Guidance
  • Long-term care&#160
  • facility
  • rRT-PCR
  • Social isolation

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