Coronavirus: contaminated staff without symptoms can be mobilized in the Covid unit of Rest and Care Homes

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Mr Beke was questioned in plenary session of the Flemish Parliament by the N-VA MP Lorin Parys. Also requested on this point, Mr. Beke’s office clarified that this exceptional device was only intended for the management of the Covid units of the establishments concerned, not for the others, in accordance with a directive that came into force last Monday. .

“This provision provides that in exceptional cases, and when all other possibilities are exhausted, employees who are positive but asymptomatic can be mobilized,” said Minister CD&V. According to him, it is indeed a solution of last resort. The employees concerned cannot be forced to do so.

The nursing homes and nursing and care homes in the south of the country can also use, in case of absolute necessity, nursing staff positive for the coronavirus but asymptomatic, only from the Covid beds organized in “cohorts” in the establishment. This has been the case for several weeks in Wallonia, said Lara Kotlar, spokesperson for the Walloon Agency for Quality Life (AViQ). Discussions are currently underway to possibly extend this possibility to “non-Covid” beds, with enhanced protection of staff, she indicates.

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In Brussels, MRs and MRSs can call on contaminated but asymptomatic staff as a last resort, said a spokesperson for CoCom. This can only be done after consultation between management, the coordinating doctor and the member of staff concerned. The same spokesperson stressed that all staff and external providers of MR and MRS in the capital were required to wear an FFP2 mask in these establishments.

The rules for hospitals are set at the federal level. They also make it possible to use “in exceptional cases”, asymptomatic but positive health personnel for the care of Covid patients in a Covid unit of the hospital. This is not allowed if the affected healthcare personnel have a high viral load.

Faced with the staff shortage, the Flemish association of healthcare organizations Zorgnet-Icuro on Wednesday asked the country’s authorities to give the green light to the use of staff positive for Covid, but asymptomatic, also in non-Covid units if it was necessary.

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