“Now is the time” to prepare eldercare communities for possible novel coronavirus outbreaks, according to aging advocate LeadingAge. The organization has released new recommendations and resources in a webpage that went live on Tuesday.

Officials have warned that it’s only a matter of time before the coronavirus spreads among communities in the United States. LeadingAge offers suggestions for staff preparation, lists numerous virus containment measures, and links to new resources from federal and global health authorities. In addition, the organization recommends that facility operators take these steps: 

  • Assemble emergency preparedness and operations teams and prepare strategically for a potential virus spread.
  • Review infection control protocol, inventory supplies, and prepare employees.
  • Create a Communication Plan for all stakeholders; the World Health Organization has a Communications Package that can be downloaded.

Messages should be delivered in a calm, reassuring, and direct tone to avoid panic, the association stated. “It is important to emphasize both how the entire community is preparing, as well as how individuals can prepare at home,” it stated.