Infection Prevention and Control Tips for Visiting All Health Care Settings


20 March 2023

For many years, we have known of the importance of following infection prevention and control (IPAC) measures when visiting various health care settings as oftentimes there are vulnerable people receiving care within these settings. The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of following IPAC practices in health care settings.

New IPAC resources

As a visitor, it is important to keep everyone safe by following the IPAC instructions of the health care setting you are visiting. To better support visitors to these settings, we have recently published two new IPAC resources that provide basic IPAC information to patients/residents, families and visitors that should be followed in all health care settings. These resources provide knowledge on how to prevent the spread of harmful germs and help you understand why care providers and staff perform certain IPAC measures when providing care.

Basic IPAC practices for visiting health care settings

There are basic IPAC practices that can greatly help prevent and reduce the spread of harmful germs in health care settings, and generally in all public settings. They include:

  • Screening before you go in – includes answering questions about how you are feeling before you enter a health care setting to help keep visitors from bringing potential illnesses into a health care setting
  • Hand hygiene – one of the best ways to stop infections from spreading. Use alcohol based hand rub or soap and water at the care setting to clean your hands.
  • No sharing of food or other items – keep germs to yourself by only bringing necessary items with you, and not sharing with other visitors, patients/residents, or staff.
  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE) – when necessary, put on and take off the correct PPE properly. Instructional posters and pamphlets are often available, or you can ask a staff member for help.
  • Practice physical distancing, masking, and respiratory etiquette – always be sure to follow instructions regarding physical distancing and masking, and be sure to practice good respiratory etiquette (cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, throw away used tissues and clean your hands).
  • Stay up-to-date with vaccinations – including vaccinations for COVID-19 and yearly influenza vaccines.

These evidence-based IPAC practices and procedures are an important tool to help prevent or reduce the risk of spreading of harmful germs in order to keep communities safe, For more infection control and prevention tips, visit our website.

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Published 20 March 2023