I & Q Response
This section of the Toolkit provides an in depth look at putting the I & Q plan into operation. It describes specific instructions for structuring your response. The Tools & Samples section offers templates and sample forms that can be applicable for most health jurisdictions.
LEAD WITH WHAT YOU KNOW
In an emergency situation, focus on your expertise. Do not try to reinvent yourself or your organization by taking on something outside of what you know. Admit where your expertise ends and find the community organizations with whom you can partner to acquire their expertise for the response.
Our first planning task then became to define who would be responsible for what aspect of the isolation and quarantine operation. We have developed a Preparedness Strategy Flow Chart that illustrates how our day-to-day roles and responsibilities will shift and be divided in an emergency in order to best care for many more people than our daily staff could possibly manage.
In our case, the point at which a Public Health department shifts from "business as usual" to an I & Q response (Activation) will likely be initiated by Communicable Disease Surveillance staff once they have identified an outbreak of serious concern and need (or will soon need) support to manage the event. Activation may progress incrementally from informal communication to co-location of key leaders, activation of Incident Command System (ICS), and the implementation of the agency I & Q Response Plan.
ISOLATION AND QUARANTINE RESPONSE CENTER (IQRC)
Ultimately, an Isolation and Quarantine Response Center (IQRC) was developed to monitor many more than the normal ebb and flow of cases and contacts. The purpose of the IQRC is twofold: 1) To monitor any changes in health status and potential for disease transmission and 2) To assure compliance with laws stating that Public Health must assure the basic needs of individuals placed in I & Q are met. The activation of the IQRC would be a joint decision by principal Public Health decision makers and the Public Health Emergency Operations Center. It requires the reallocation of staff and other resources. The IQRC is the heart of operations, and per our own advice, is structured in accordance with ICS standard operating procedures. Because the IQRC is a new concept in Public Health, we have thoroughly documented the model in a variety of Tools & Samples.