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New safety regulations for Malta’s Elderly Housing with Care to combat the outbreak of COVID-19

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Following the proliferation of COVID-19, the government has issued a new protocol aimed at protecting elderly home residents.

Measures include more frequent wiping tests for residents and caregivers, and twice-daily worker temperature checks. Other measures include compulsory 14-day quarantine of new residents.

After clusters have been recorded in at least four homes over the past few weeks, new regulations will attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus in older homes.

Malta experienced a surge in COVID-19 cases with record 106 registered yesterday. One of the clusters that contributed to the surge is housing for the elderly.

In light of these developments, the Department of Social Welfare and the Ministry of Family have announced new regulations to minimize the risk of viral infections in the homes of the elderly.

New measures:

  • Staff and residents are wiped with cotton swabs more often, but workers are temperatureed twice daily
  • Staff were encouraged to take responsibility for their personal lives
  • Staff members must wear masks throughout the shift
  • Influenza vaccine will be provided to residents and staff
  • If a resident is infected with the COVID-19 virus, Elderly Housing with Care should notify the family throughout the process
  • New residents need to be isolated for 14 days, while residents who return home after spending some time in the hospital need to be isolated for 5 days
  • Residents with outpatient appointments do not need to be quarantined, but they do need to make sure that the necessary controls are in place at home so that symptoms are recorded immediately.
  • At the time of the visit, the government stated that visitors should comply with home regulations and should refrain from visiting if someone feels sick.
  • Visitors should always wear a mask to ensure that there is no physical contact with the resident. Social distance must be respected and communication must be carried out behind the Perspecs sheet
  • Hand sanitizers should be performed before and after the visit, but the visited area should be disinfected among the visitors
  • The government also states that seniors’ homes need to be equipped with the necessary technology to enable virtual communication between residents and their families.
  • Put food in a disinfectable container
  • Residents are not allowed to stay in groups and interact with people in different wards or floors so that the “bubble concept” is maintained.
  • Hairdressing areas need to be contoured at home and such areas have enough space to keep a social distance

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