Norovirus Outbreak Management

Outbreak Definition of Norovirus: An outbreak of norovirus is where two or more people, including residents and or employees in a residential aged care facility, become ill, with vomiting and or diarrhea within 24 hours of each other.

If an outbreak of norovirus has been declared, the first 24 hours are critical in minimising the impact of the infection on residents and employees.

Immediate actions need to include


PPE stations and signage should be set up for residents in isolation

Work areas should be separated between cohorts of healthcare workers

Residents in isolation should be provided with a single bathroom, bedroom, and observation equipment

Implement the management plan for essential visitors (Partners in Care/Named Visitors/compassionate visitors) to continue to connect with residents

PPE Required For Outbreak Management



Plastic  or waterproof gowns

Face shield or eye protection

PPE and hand hygiene refresher training for employees

Use Standard Precautions and Transmission-Based Precautions to minimise transmission


Explain isolation precautions to the resident and why they are necessary

Notify the leadership team to assist 

Notify the Doctor to provide guidance and treatment

Notify all employees to ensure understanding of tasks required in an outbreak (including kitchen, laundry, and cleaning)

Notify the family, provide reassurance, and make them aware of visiting requirements/restrictions in an outbreak

Advise healthcare workers to go home and stay home if sick until 48 hours after symptoms have cleared

Ensure healthcare workers are aware they are unable to work at other facilities during an outbreak

A thorough handover is required between shifts, including affected residents and those at risk


Monitor all residents twice daily for symptoms, isolate, test, report, and document any residents with symptoms

Check sufficient PPE, testing equipment, hand hygiene, waste disposal, and cleaning stock are available

Screen any visitors to the facility before entering 

Ensure visitors entering wear PPE


Record all assessments and actions taken in residents' medical records