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Outbreak Prevention Measures Upgraded! Visitations to Elderly Residential Care Centers, Daycare, Home Care Service Suspended

Daycare center for the elderly In light of the increasing number of imported COVID-19 cases recently, Taipei City Government’s Department of Social Welfare (DOSW) has conducted an evaluation and decided that the risk of infection among senior citizens is high, hence visitations to elderly residential care centers will be temporarily suspended starting from March 24, while daycare and home care services to senior citizens living with family members who are under home isolation or quarantine will also be suspended.

There are 103 elderly care centers (including senior apartments) in Taipei City providing residential care services for 5,219 senior citizens. In order to ensure ethics and outbreak prevention effectiveness, only video visitations will be allowed, where the centers will provide the necessary equipment and Internet access. If visitation in person is needed for special reasons, reservation should be made in advance, and the visitation will take place at a well-ventilated area determined by the center, such as outdoors, open area, or venues away from other residents.

Furthermore, in upholding the principle of preventing close contact and limited visitations, each family member can only visit once per week, and each visitation is limited to 30 minutes, where feeding should be avoided, and the visitor should comply with the center’s visitor management and isolation measures. DOSW emphasized that elderly residential care centers must rigorously adhere to the said measures to protect the health and safety of senior citizens.

Moreover, considering the recent increases in the number of imported COVID-19 cases, and the fact that there are 30 daycare centers and 6 home care centers serving senior citizens or disabled persons with long-term care needs, daycare and home care centers are public venues, while although home care services are conducted at home, home care assistants need to travel to different homes and are therefore exposed to the risk of infection. If the family members living with the senior citizen or disabled person being cared for are under home isolation or quarantine, the home care service will be suspended until home isolation or quarantine comes to an end. For those without family to look after them or who require special assistance, the DOSW will help to allocate other service resources.

According to Deputy Mayor and Acting DOSW Commissioner Tsai Ping-Kun, although some policies and measures implemented during the outbreak may cause the public inconvenience, in an effort to prevent the outbreak from deteriorating and to protect the health and safety of the senior citizens, he has asked the families and citizens for their cooperation and understanding, as the DOSW will continue to adjust the outbreak prevention measures depending on the outbreak situation.