Elderly care homes have been instructed to adopt a ‘bubble’ system among their residents so as to contain the spread of COVID-19.
In a fresh set of protocols, the Social Care Standards Authority said care home residents must only have physical contact with people in their ‘bubble’ and not mingle with residents from other floors or wards.
Staff and residents will be swabbed regularly and every member of staff will have their temperature taken twice a day and must constantly wear a mask visor. Residents and staff alike will also be offered flu shots.
Elderly people aren’t allowed to leave their home unless they have a medical appointment or require medical treatment. New residents must spend 14 days in quarantine while those entering after receiving hospital treatment must be quarantined for five days.
Residents who have outpatient appointments won’t be quarantined but care homes must conduct “the necessary controls” to assess any symptoms they may develop.
Visitors must wear masks and visors and there should be no physical contact whatsoever, with communication taking place behind a perspex screen. Visitors must sanitise their hands both before and after the visit and the area must be disinfected between visits.
Any food to elderly people must be provided in sealed or disposable containers and must not be handed directly to the residents, but to carers.
These new protocols come amidst a rise in COVID-19 cases, including clusters at old people’s homes. Malta confirmed 106 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, a record since the start of the pandemic. Meanwhile, 22 patients have recovered, meaning there are currently 591 active cases.
What do you make of the new protocols?