Nursing homes bars visitors who were at TTSH, tighten Covid-19 measures to protect residents

SINGAPORE – Nursing homes are raising their guards against Covid-19. This follows the increase in community cases, including a nursing home resident testing positive after being discharged from Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where a cluster has been detected.

She tested positive on April 29, a day after being discharged to United Medicare Centre (Toa Payoh) Nursing Home.

The Agency for Integrated Care (AIC), which oversees nursing homes in Singapore, told The Straits Times on Tuesday that it has worked with the Ministry of Health since the start of the pandemic to advise homes on protecting their staff and residents.

It added that nursing homes had been implementing precautionary measures in line with these advisories.

AIC said that currently homes which do not have any suspected or confirmed Covid-19 cases have caps on the total number of visitors they can receive each day.

Each resident can pre-register up to four designated visitors but no more than two of them can visit at any one time. Visitation times are limited to one hour.

In addition, nursing homes with more than 100 beds have implemented split zones while ensuring that staff and residents do not mix across such zones.

Other safe management measures such as the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), safe distancing and TraceTogether-SafeEntry are also in place.

AIC said it also works with nursing homes to manage any suspected or confirmed Covid-19 cases, and will help set up a team comprising public health experts from the Ministry of Health as well as medical and nursing resources if need be.

The agency added that it also provides essential items such as hand sanitisers and contactless thermometers to the homes, and helps train staff in infection control practices.

In addition to the AIC guidelines, some nursing homes have also taken the extra step of turning away visitors who had recently been to TTSH.

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