The Infection Prevention and Control Guide for Homelessness Service Settings provides information and recommendations for homelessness service providers and workers on infection prevention and control (IPAC). IPAC is the use of evidence-based practices that when applied consistently, can reduce the risk of the spread of germs. The goal is that providers and workers will utilize this resource to incorporate IPAC in daily operations to protect clients and other workers. Topics in this guide include Routine Practices such as hand hygiene and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), environmental cleaning and disinfection and client hygiene. Practical tools in the form of checklists, posters or diagrams can be found at the end of the document to help implement IPAC practices.

The Guide’s Main Messages

  • Consistent and appropriate use of infection prevention and control practices can reduce the spread of germs.
  • Do a risk assessment. When there is a risk of exposure to germs, homelessness service workers should use appropriate PPE or techniques to help prevent such exposures.
  • Clean your hands. Cleaning your hands is the most important and effective IPAC measure to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Use PPE appropriately. Gloves are the most commonly used PPE in shelters. Disposable gloves should be used with the idea of one pair for one task. They should never be cleaned or re-used.
  • Keep a clean and safe environment through proper environmental cleaning and disinfection. This is an essential aspect of IPAC and is critical for the safety of clients and other workers.
  • Support good IPAC practices. Homelessness service providers can do this by implementing IPAC policies and procedures and providing regular IPAC education to workers, volunteers and clients.