Respiratory and cough hygiene is designed to minimise the risk of cross transmission of respiratory pathogens including COVID-19. The principles of respiratory and cough hygiene can be found in section 1.3 of SICPs.
Residents, staff and visitors should be encouraged to minimise potential COVID-19 transmission through good respiratory hygiene measures which are:
- disposable, single-use tissues should be used to cover the nose and mouth when sneezing, coughing or wiping and blowing the nose – used tissues should be disposed of promptly in the nearest waste bin;
- tissues, waste bins (lined and foot operated) and hand hygiene facilities should be available for residents, visitors and staff;
- hands should be cleaned (using liquid soap and water if possible, otherwise using alcohol based hand rub (ABHR) after coughing, sneezing, using tissues or after any contact with respiratory secretions and contaminated objects;
- encourage residents to keep hands away from the eyes, mouth and nose.
Some residents may need assistance with containment of respiratory secretions; those who are immobile will need a container (for example a plastic bag) readily at hand for immediate disposal of tissues.