Visits to senior homes to be made easier

Hu Min
Shanghai's civil affairs authorities announced a relaxation of conditions governing visits to elderly residents in care homes as pandemic response level is lowered. 
Hu Min

Shanghai's civil affairs authorities are to relax conditions governing visits to senior homes and recruitment of staff after the city said on Friday it will lower its emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic from second level to the third from Saturday.

All relatives of residents in the city's senior homes will be allowed to visit residents at designated areas after making arrangements with senior-care agencies, the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau said on Friday. 

Visitors will be required to wear masks and present their health QR codes. 

However, anyone in contact with people arriving from overseas in the previous 15 days, who have been in close contact with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases, have symptoms such as a fever, a cough and diarrhea, who are asymptomatic COVID-19 patients or have been in close contact with such patients will be barred from entry, the bureau said. 

Senior-home operators have been ordered to work out routes for visitors, and should disperse visitors during visits, the bureau said. 

Residents will only be allowed two visitors at any one time and reservation is mandatory for visits, the bureau said. Visitors should keep at a safe distance and follow designated routes to prevent gatherings and unnecessary contact. 

Visitors will be allowed into living areas if the resident has physical disabilities, but disinfection and other prevention measures should be in place, the bureau said. 

Residents and staff who left Shanghai during the pandemic are required to present test reports showing they are negative one day before their return or undergo 14-day quarantine before they are allowed into senior homes, the bureau said. 

Those who have visited hospitals due to common diseases can return to senior homes without quarantine, but prevention and medical observation should be enhanced, according to the bureau. 

Staff recruitment at senior homes is allowed, and candidates who didn't leav Shanghai in the past month don't need to undergo quarantine before they start working if they present their green health QR code, while there must be enhanced prevention and medical observation. 

People coming to Shanghai from other cities in the past month must present their negative test reports one day before they start work or undergo 14-day quarantine. 

Express and food delivery people are banned from entry into senior homes but can leave items to security guards. 

Repair workers are allowed to enter but are only allowed to work in non-living areas. 

Community-based senior service facilities should open as soon as possible, the bureau said. 

Home-based senior care services should resume, along with community-based senior meal service venues. 

However, diners will be asked to sit separately and at a distance from one another and have their meals at different times. 

Comprehensive senior service centers, day-care centers and activity centers for the elderly at communities can open but should control visitor numbers and avoid activities that involve gatherings and close contact such as lectures, dancing and playing cards and mahjong, according to the bureau. 

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