The Health Ministry issued on Saturday updated advice for residents, workers and visitors at homes for the elderly and the disabled for protection against Covid-19.
The announcement said that residents at homes for the elderly and disabled are among vulnerable groups and most of them are elderly people with chronic underlying illnesses.
Measures for workers and external collaborators
- Check their temperature daily before starting work and be on high alert for any symptoms of a respiratory illness (cough, shortness of breath, fever etc).
- Wear a face mask during work hours
- Immediately leave work in the case of Covid-19 symptoms
- Training for proper use of individual protection equipment with special emphasis on how to wear it and how to remove it (ex. surgical mask, protective, gown, disposable gloves)
- Adherence to cleaning measures, disinfection of spaces and surfaces
- Good and frequent ventilation of all areas
- Occasional testing of staff for Covid-19 (managers of such homes are encouraged to make use of the government’s 20,000 tests scheme for testing their staff)
- Consider testing all new arrivals (staff and inmates) for Covid-19
Measures for visitors
Signage at the entrance of the home alerting visitors that no visits are allowed to the home. Relatives should be updated on the health of residents by telephone.
Visitation is only allowed if a resident is nearing death for humanitarian reasons, and strictly by one person only.
In that case, visitors should:
- Not enter if they have symptoms of a respiratory disease (fever, cough, shortness of breath etc)
- Apply hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene measures
- Wear a plain surgical mask
General measures for residents
- Temperature checks and monitoring of residents for any respiratory symptoms at least twice a day
- Suspend non-essential activities like workouts, group entertainment activities etc
- Avoid meals in a dining room; preferably serve them in their rooms
- Suspend non-urgent visits by external collaborating doctors
Measures for residents with suspect Covid-19 symptoms
All recommended measures by the MoH should be applied if a resident presents suspect respiratory symptoms.
If a patient needs to be taken to another healthcare facility, then the Epidemiological Surveillance Unit should be contacted as well as an ambulance for transferring the patient in order to take all necessary measures to contain the spread of the virus.
In addition, the following apply:
- Isolation in a single-bed room with en suite bathroom
- Strictly limit movements to the absolutely necessary with the use of a simple surgical mask
- Proper use of the medical equipment by the staff caring for the resident
- Application of basic contact and droplets precautions in all cases of respiratory infection by an unknown cause
- Place an alcohol-based antiseptic in each room, liquid soap at every sink, napkins and mobile bins with a lid
- Oral hygiene and and use of face mask by the patient if possible
- Cleaning and disinfection of all areas and surfaces, discard all infected materials, and
- Immediately contact the patient’s personal doctor
If a patient dies with suspect or confirmed Covid-19 infection, relevant instructions by the Epidemiological Surveillance Unit should be followed regarding the handling of dead bodies (relevant instructions can be found on https://eody.gov.gr).