Remediation and infection control considerations for reopening healthcare facilities closed due to extensive water and wind damage fact sheet
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Remediation and infection control considerations for reopening healthcare facilities closed due to extensive water and wind damage fact sheet

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      During a hurricane or flood, many hospitals may sufferwater and wind damage; somemay have standing water for an extended period of time due to flooding. Building structures, equipment, and supplies may be heavily contaminated with microorganisms such as mold, mold spores, and bacteria. Before reopening, hospitals must be evaluated to determine: 1) if the facility is damaged beyond repair and must be condemned; or 2) if the extent of the damage is such that the facility may be restored, repaired, and reopened.

      Once the decision is made to repair and reoccupy the building(s), damaged or contaminated materials and structures must be removed and discarded, while salvageable materials and items can be thoroughly dried, repaired, cleaned, and restored to safe function. The restoration of a hospital to full function is a complex, multidisciplinary task, and the assistance of engineers, professionals trained in building remediation, and manufacturers of healthcare equipment will likely be necessary to complete the job. Once the work to restore the building is finished and the building is returned to service, periodic inspection of the remediated structure will be necessary to identify mold growth and initiate removal and control measures. Clinical- and laboratory-based surveillance in the healthcare facility for unusual clusters of infectious diseases due to pathogens in the environment will also be essential.

      The following information is intended to assist healthcare facilities with the tasks involved during clean-up and reopening. Links to electronic copies of recommendations from Governmental agencies and professional associations are provided. Implementation of these measures is meant to be followed in accordance with state and local certification requirements, completion of building and fire inspections, and other relevant state or local regulations.


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