Applying Transmission-Based Precautions

When an infection or potential risk has been identified, a risk assessment should be completed to assist with identifying precautions to be implemented. The risk assessment should be regularly reviewed and updated, and precautions adjusted, if necessary, during the infectious period.

These additional precautions should be tailored to the infectious agent involved and its mode of transmission.

Types of Transmission-based Precautions

More than one type, or a combination of, transmission-based precautions may need to be used in cases where an infectious agent has more than one route of transmission during outbreaks and pandemics or for epidemiologically important organisms.



Infectious Agents

Precautions In Addition To Standard Precautions

Contact Precautions

Reduce the risk of transmission of micro-organisms by direct or indirect contact

Multi-resistant organisms (MRO/MDROs), Clostridioides difficile, norovirus and highly contagious skin infections such as scabies

Wear gloves and impermeable gowns when direct contact with an infectious resident or contaminated object is anticipated

Wear masks and protective eyewear if there is a risk of splashes or spray of blood and body fluids into the face and eyes

Droplet Precautions

Apply to residents suspected of being infected with pathogens that can be transmitted by droplets

Influenza and meningococcus

Wear impervious gowns, protective eyewear, impermeable masks, and protective eyewear

Airbourne Precautions

Apply to residents known or suspected to be infected with pathogens that can be transmitted by the airborne route

Measles virus, varicella virus (chicken pox) and Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Wear impervious gowns, gloves, high filtration masks, and protective eyewear


Transmission-based precautions may include one or any combination of the following

Allocating a single room to an infected resident (isolation)

Placing residents colonised or infected with the same infectious agent in a room together (cohorting)

Wearing specific personal protective equipment (PPE)

Providing dedicated resident equipment

Using disinfectants effective against the specific infectious agent

Providing a dedicated toilet/bathroom

Restricting movement of both residents and all employees

All employees should be prepared to explain the requirements of transmission-based precautions to residents and visitors.