Covid-19: the health protocol relaxed in nursing homes for the end of the year celebrations

“Protecting seniors, without isolating them.” This is the will of the government for Christmas and the New Year in the midst of the Covid-19 epidemic. The Minister in charge of Autonomy, Brigitte Bourguignon, announced on Saturday December 12 in a press release a relaxation of the health protocol recommended to nursing homes on the occasion of the end of year celebrations.

“Exceptionally”, the outings of residents will be facilitated so that they can find their families. Relatives of the elderly are “strongly encouraged” to carry out a PCR or antigen test beforehand. They are also invited to respect precautionary measures (barrier gestures, distance, ventilation, etc.).

On their return to their nursing home, residents will have to take an RT-PCR or antigen test. They will also have to respect “very strictly” barrier gestures and carrying “systematically” a surgical mask in the presence of other people. They will also not be able to participate in collective activities for seven days.

The ministry also recommends a relaxation of the rules governing the visits of relatives in nursing homes, in order to make them “more user-friendly”. An increase in the gauges (that is to say, the number of visitors per resident and the maximum number of visitors received simultaneously per meeting slot) may be considered. Likewise, the duration of the appointment time slots can be extended.

The management of nursing homes are also encouraged to organize collective activities, inside and outside the establishment. For example, accompaniment to religious services. These recommendations are applicable from December 15 until January 3, 2021.

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