Today, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) published guidance to Member States for the development of COVID-19 surveillance in long-term care facilities.
This follows high-level exchanges between Vice-President Dubravka Šuica, Commissioners Stella Kyriakides, Nicolas Schmit and Helena Dalli and representatives of social service providers and users on their particularly challenging situation.
Persons aged 65 years and above, especially those with preconditions, and persons with disabilities are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. For example, in many EU Member States, COVID-19 related deaths in long-term care facilities represent 30-60% of all COVID-related deaths.
This requires attention not only for the health and safety of these vulnerable groups, but also for staff working in long-term care facilities who are particularly exposed. Their health and safety is equally paramount not only for their own protection but also to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus and to improve overall care.
At this, the approach to testing and reporting plays a crucial role in protecting the providers and users of services in long-term care. The guidance can be found here. It follows and complements previous EU guidance on infection prevention and control and preparedness for COVID-19 in healthcare settings and guidance on a safe return to the workplace.
Stefan De Keersmaecker –