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Visitors to elderly residential care homes must take rapid COVID-19 tests

Visitors to elderly residential care homes must take rapid COVID-19 tests

An elderly caregiver pushing a senior in a wheelchair up a ramp. (File photo: Calvin Oh)

SINGAPORE: Visitors to elderly residential care homes will need to take a COVID-19 antigen rapid test (ART) at the facilities before they are allowed entry, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Friday (Jun 18).

The new measure will take place when physical visits to the homes resume on Monday, said MOH.

"To enhance existing visitor management measures when physical visits resume from Jun 21, visitors to homes will need to take a FET (Fast and Easy Test) at the home and test negative prior to entry," the ministry said.

"Homes will be using ARTs for this purpose."

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MOH suspended visits to these homes between Jun 5 and Jun 20 amid a rise in community cases. The move was aimed at reducing the risk of importing COVID-19 into such settings, and the risk of cross-transmission.

“We will work with the homes on strengthening precautionary measures within homes, to assist homes in resuming physical visitations safely," MOH said then.

"This will include a review of visitor management and testing policies at the homes."

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On Friday, MOH asked for visitors' "patience and understanding", as it said that some homes could require more time to implement the necessary procedures for ART and would only be able to resume visits at a later date.

"Other homes may start off with a smaller number of visitors to allow them to stabilise their operational processes before accommodating a larger number of visits," it added

"Visitors should continue to schedule visits with the home ahead of time, and take into consideration the added time required to complete the ART."

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Source: CNA/hz


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