Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) Treatment Facility Design

Screening areas, treatment centres and community facilities are part of the strategic priorities for Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) outbreak preparedness, readiness and response. The SARI Facilities training package has been developed to meet the operational needs emerging with the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides a thorough understanding of the principles driving the design process of COVID-19 screening areas for health care facilities, community facilities and SARI treatment centres, including how to repurpose an existing building into a SARI treatment centre.

These materials were launched on 06/02/2020. As the scientific evidence and technical guidance regarding COVID-19 are constantly evolving, the materials in this course are outdated. This course is undergoing a revision. An updated version of this course will be available in the first quarter of 2023. In the meantime, please refer to for the latest updates.

Image credit: WHO/Luca Fontana

Language: English

Course information

This course is also available in the following languages:

Português - русский - العربية - Italiano - Bahasa Indonesia - Español - Français - Tiếng Việt - Tetun

Overview: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. This course provides principles, minimum requirements and technical specifications to design and set up SARI-related facilities though short lectures and technical tutorials. It targets personnel involved in preparedness and response, including health managers and planners, architects, engineers, logistics, water and sanitation staff, clinical and nursing staff, carers and other health care providers, and health promoters.

Learning objectives: By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • describe the key principles driving SARI treatment centres and dedicated screening points design;
  • draft and evaluate a SARI treatment centre layout, including triage and different risk areas, with clear and rational flows of people and material;
  • describe different types of ventilation and exhausted air treatments;
  • describe the referral pathway and patient’s journey;
  • assess and evaluate available existing structures;
  • identify key and essential structural elements to repurpose an existing building into a SARI treatment centre; and
  • adapt an existing building into a SARI treatment centre.

Course duration: Approximately 1 hour.

Certificates: A Confirmation of Participation is available to participants who complete 100% of the course material.

Course contents

  • Module 1: Overview of basic operational and IPC principles in COVID-19 context:

    This module provides an overview of basic operational and Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) principles in the context of COVID-19.
  • Module 2: Designing a SARI screening area and treatment centre:

    This module describes how to design a SARI screening area and treatment centre.
  • Module 3: Repurposing an existing building into a SARI treatment centre:

    This module describes how to repurpose an existing building into a SARI treatment centre.

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Certificate Requirements

  • Gain a Confirmation of Participation by completing at least 100% of the course material.