Box 1.

Lessons learned from Sandwell COVID-19 outbreak: future measures to help us ‘respond like South Korea’6

  • Universal testing and intensive screening and management of high-risk facilities in vulnerable groups (eg nursing home residents, patients with complex neurology)

  • Isolation of any suspected COVID-19 case, until two negative samples (preferably deep respiratory samples) with complete resolution of symptoms

  • Cohorting of exposed contacts and monitoring for symptoms for 14 days

  • Social distancing (2-metre rule in non-clinical areas) during handover meetings and in staff areas

  • Self-quarantine of all staff with close contact with a COVID-19 patient with any breach of PPE or with positive staff member in non-clinical area where social distancing not adhered to

  • Prioritise infection control over capacity issues

  • Fast-turnaround, high sensitivity COVID-19 testing available 24/7

  • Awareness of false negative rates

  • Universal mask coverage

  • Meticulous tracheostomy care (whatever COVID-19 status) in a separate area

  • Full PPE for any AGP (including if a patient is on humidified oxygen)

  • Visors for nasogastric tube insertion

  • Enhanced cleaning on a COVID ward with frequent cleaning of touch points (every 2 hours)