Long Term Care Outbreak Reporting
Long-Term Care Outbreak Reporting and Resource Hub
The Montgomery County Public Health Code requires that all outbreaks of reportable diseases and unusual clusters of disease be reported to the Montgomery County Office of Public Health (MCOPH). MCOPH provides surveillance, outbreak recommendations, and infection prevention guidance to the facility to support the management and prevention of disease spread. Outbreak definitions and recommendations differ by disease.
Below is guidance for reporting and recommendations for COVID-19, Influenza, and Suspect Norovirus outbreaks.
For other clusters and outbreaks for reportable infectious disease or healthcare-associated infections, please contact MCOPH at 610-278-5117 from 8:00 am to 4:30-pm Monday through Friday.
Long-Term Care Outbreak Reporting for COVID-19, Influenza, and Suspected Norovirus
Please use the Long Term Care Reporting Form to notify the Office of Public Health of an outbreak of COVID-19, Influenza-like illness, or suspected norovirus. The Long Term Care Reporting Form is only for facility nursing and administration staff to report COVID-19, Influenza, and Suspect Norovirus. An MCOPH staff member will contact the facility to discuss the next steps and recommendations within 1 business day.
A COVID-19 outbreak is defined as the occurrence of one or more cases of COVID-19 in a long-term care facility that meet the following criteria:
- New nursing home onset of COVID-19 OR
- New onset of COVID-19 in a healthcare worker who was working in the facility while infectious (during the 2 days prior to symptom onset or positive test, if asymptomatic)
Identification of a single new case 14 days after the last known case would meet criteria for a new outbreak and promote the need for a new outbreak response.
- PA-HAN – 663: Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Healthcare Settings during the COVID-19 Pandemic
- PA-HAN – 662: Return to Work for Healthcare Personnel with Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19
- PA-HAN – 661: Work Restrictions for Healthcare Personnel with Exposure to COVID-19
- QSO-20-39 NH: Nursing Home Visitation – COVID-19
- QSO-20-38 NH: Interim Final Rule (IFC), CMS-3401-IFC, Additional Policy and Regulatory Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency related to Long-Term Care (LTC) Facility Testing Requirements and Revised COVID-19 Facility Focused Survey Tool
MCOPH defines an influenza outbreak as one resident with laboratory-confirmed influenza plus at least one additional resident with Influenza-like illness (ILI), or two or more residents with ILI within 72 hours of each other. Influenza should be confirmed as the causative agent with appropriate laboratory tests early in an outbreak. All outbreaks should be reported immediately (within 24 hours) to the Division of Communicable Disease Control using the Long Term Care Outbreak Reporting Form.
MCOPH defines an outbreak of suspected norovirus as two or more residents presenting with gastro-enteric illness within a seven-day time period. Norovirus should be confirmed as the causative agent with appropriate laboratory tests early in an outbreak. All outbreaks should be reported immediately (within 24 hours) to the Division of Communicable Disease Control using the Long Term Care Outbreak Reporting Form.
- CDC – Norovirus Homepage
- CDC – Norovirus and Food Handlers
- CDC – Norovirus Guidelines for Healthcare Settings