Outbreak Management


COVID-19 supplement to the infection prevention and control resource for adult social care Considerations specific to care homes: Outbreak management


  • Outbreak = 2 or more confirmed (or clinically suspected) linked cases of COVID-19 associated with the same setting within a 14-day period. This applies to both staff and residents and includes PCR and lateral flow test results.
  • If you suspect an outbreak in your care home, contact the health protection team (HPT) and local authority immediately. 
  •  A risk assessment should be undertaken with the HPT or local authority to see if the clinical situation can be considered an outbreak and if outbreak management measures are needed.
  • If an outbreak is declared as a result of the risk assessment then measures will be taken. These will include testing and may also include: 
    • temporarily stopping or reducing communal activities 
    • closure of the home to further admissions 
    • restriction of movement of staff providing direct care to avoid ‘seeding’ of outbreaks between different settings
    • changes to visiting: some forms of visiting should continue if individual risk assessments are carried out. One visitor per resident should always be able to visit inside the care home.
  • In the event of an outbreak in a residential setting where care is provided (including care homes), outbreak restrictions will be in place for different lengths of time, depending on the characteristics of the home, the outbreak and the results of outbreak testing.

Support from the system


Care homes share accurate and timely information about positive COVID-19 test results or other issues. 

In the event of one case of COVID-19, contact: publichealth@sutton.gov.uk

In the event of two or more cases of COVID-19, contact: LCRC@phe.gov.uk and publichealth@sutton.gov.uk 


UKHSA HPT (LCRC) provides initial outbreak management advice. The LBS Public Health Team assesses the situation using a risk assessment tool in order to support the care home to limit the impact of COVID-19 in their setting.


Further analysis, reporting, measuring outcomes and risks. Aim to offer recommendations for risk mitigation, contingency planning and opportunity for shared learning across the care sector e.g. via newsletter. 

Key contact details

Other resoucres

Page last updated on April 7th, 2022 at 3:59pm

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