© AFP/Michele Spatari
On Wednesday, Minister for Family Affairs and Integration Corinne Cahen and Minister of Health Paulette Lenert presented the new recommendations for managers of senior and care homes, as well as assisted living facilities.
As of 27 September, residents of senior and care homes over the age of 75 will be given a third Covid-19 vaccine dose. The procedure will be carried out by the mobile vaccination team and is scheduled to last three weeks in total. Any unvaccinated residents will have to take two rapid tests per week if they already live in a home.
New residents can no longer move in without having been vaccinated beforehand, except in emergency cases. Furthermore, the National Health Laboratory (LNS) will help carry out PCR tests in all such facilities every two to three weeks.
Given the findings from the Waringo report, the new approach will also apply to assisted living facilities. This decision has been taken in alignment with the Covid laws, which will be in effect until 18 October.
The vaccination rate of care workers is currently estimated to be around 65%. Officials hope to increase that figure using new awareness campaigns.
Minister Cahen emphasised that the situation is not comparable to the one from last year, given that now 95% of residents have already been vaccinated. Nevertheless, authorities want to carry on with the existing approach to social and sanitary measures in order respond to the criticism from the Waringo report. The CovidCheck system for visitors will therefore stay in place.
At the moment, five residents from two different homes are infected with Covid-19. Aside from one unvaccinated person, who has a mild cough, none of the others have displayed symptoms. Recommendations for what to do in case of positive infections have remained unchanged. The new permanent commission has already signed off on the new set of recommendations. However, Minister Cahen also underlined that there is still no master plan for all institutions, which is why there has to be room for improvisation.