Entering must be limited to fully vaccinated individuals according to the health status in Tawakkalna application (Immune), except for the groups who are not obligated to take the vaccine as appears in Tawakkalna application.
Environment, prevention, reporting and monitoring
- Maintain social distancing of one and a half meters between individuals and in all facilities.
- Place social distancing stickers in waiting areas and in all facilities.
Visits by Relatives and Friends
- Entering must be limited to fully vaccinated individuals according to the health status in Tawakkalna application (Immune), except for the groups who are not obligated to take the vaccine as appears in Tawakkalna application.
- Visitors must wear surgical masks throughout the time of the visit, and disinfect their hands well with an alcohol-based disinfectant before entering.
- Request visitors to inform personnel in social housing for the elderly if they develop symptoms of respiratory infection within 14 days of visiting.
- Keep a record of outside visitors.
- Visitors must be notified to head directly to the resident’s room and then leave the center as soon as the visit ends.
Health practitioners in the elderly care centers
- (Tawakkalna) application must be used to ensure the employee’s health status concerning COVID-19 disease. If the employee’s status is positive or in contact with a positive case, all this will appear at the application, will not be allowed to enter the workplace.
- The employee can return to work after he completely recovers and checking that by updating his status in Tawakkalna application.
- Check workers, health practitioners and elderly temperatures every morning, and they should disclose any symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath. They also must fill out the disclosure form and adhere to the protection and safety procedures inside and outside the center.
- Prevent entry of anyone who have respiratory symptoms.
- Check elderly temperature daily and asked about respiratory symptoms.
- Check the unusual symptoms that infect the elderly, such as fatigue, muscle pain, dizziness, and diarrhea, and they should be asked periodically, in addition to the common symptoms of COVID-19 disease.
- Report any case that has a high temperature or respiratory symptoms and is suspected of being infected with the COVID-19 virus, record the data and contact numbers for the case, and immediately call 937 to find out the directions required to transfer the case to the hospital.
- If a confirmed case is registered among worker, it is necessary to refer to the protocols of the Ministry of Health and the Saudi Center for Disease Prevention and Control in dealing with confirmed cases of the COVID-19.
- Allocating special rooms for isolation in case an employee is suspected of being infected with COVID-19 until contacting with the competent authorities.
- Adhere to the use of personal protection equipment such as surgical masks and medical gowns when dealing with new arrivals.
- Health practitioners and workers should wear face protectors and gloves in addition to surgical sleeves and a gown only in case of dealing with suspected cases from new arrivals.
- Health workers in elderly centers should be specialized in working in one center only and reducing their movement between centers or other health facilities.
When a Case Previously Infected with COVID-19 Enters the Social Care Center for The Elderly as a New Arrival Case or Transferred to the Centers After Receiving Treatment
- Specialist physician must evaluate the case before transfer to the center as follows:
- If a case was confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 and did not fully recover from the disease, then she/he must not be transferred to the center until she/he has fully recovered.
- If a case has recovered from COVID-19, she/he can be stay in the regular departments after being evaluated by the hospital’s infection control department and the health staff at the center.
- If a case tested negative for COVID-19, but there are still symptoms, the case can be admitted to the regular wards, but only if she/he is isolated in a room that meets the isolation requirements.
- A laboratory test for COVID-19 is not required for all new arrivals or those transferred to the elderly social care centers.
- Confirmed cases must be isolated for at least 14 days before being transferred to the common rooms.
- New elderly residents whose condition is unknown, and who do not have symptoms of Covid-19, must be isolated in a single room for 14 days or, if possible, laboratory examined to ensure that they are free of infection.
If there is a confirmed or suspected case among the elderly, a laboratory test must be performed, depending on the availability of capabilities, including the following:
- Perform an examination to all elderly and employees in the center.
- If it is not possible to examine all employees and all elderly, examination should be limited to employees and the elderly in the same department.
- If it is not possible to examine everyone in the department, examination should be limited to companions in the same room and the health practitioners who were in contact with the confirmed or suspected case.
- If there is more than one suspected case, and there are not enough isolation rooms, the cases can stay in the same room, taking into account social distancing between them so that the infection does not spread to others.
- Patients must be isolated inside a single, well-ventilated room, and contact and spray isolation precautions must be applied. If a spray-emitting procedure is performed, air isolation precautions must be applied, and if there is no single room, the isolation may be carried out in a group room, only if the room is dedicated for positive cases.
- Caution residents not to leave their rooms in the event of a suspected or confirmed case, and in case of necessity, adhere to wearing a medical mask.
- All employees and the elderly must be monitored daily by asking about temperature, respiratory symptoms, and other symptoms for a period of 14 days starting from the registration date of the confirmed case.
For the Elderly Suffering from Memory Problems or Alzheimer’s Disease
- Asking them about respiratory symptoms may not help, so in case of suspicion, a laboratory examination must be done to ensure that they are free of disease.
- Allocate a section for them, provided that each elderly is in a private room due to the difficulty of their application of social distancing and the difficulty of their understanding instructions.
- Note mood changes and memory deterioration that may be associated with COVID-19, and perform laboratory examination when they present.
- If they are infected with COVID-19, avoid changing their daily life routine, in order not to lead to deterioration of their mental state and the difficulty of treating them.
- Ensure the availability of personal protection equipment.
- Distribute hand sanitizers in visible places and fix them on the walls (they must contain 60-80% of alcohol and be in accordance with the requirements of the Saudi Food and Drug Authority).
- Ensure that hand soap is available in toilets, and that hand sanitizers are available at the sinks and at entrances to toilets.
- Dirt should be removed with soap and water before disinfection.
- Health practitioners must commit to washing hands with soap and water for 40 seconds or using hand sanitizer (60-80% of alcohol) for 20 seconds, especially before and after dealing with the elderly or touching what belongs to them.
- Commit to periodically disinfect surfaces and toilets after each use with disinfectants approved by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority or the Ministry of Health and follow the instructions for sanitizing health facilities.
- A schedule should be kept of times of disinfection for surfaces and toilets, and a special schedule should be devoted to disinfection periods.
- It is preferable to provide self-operating taps in the toilets, and if they are not available, a cleaner must be allocated to disinfect the toilets, especially taps, sinks and door handles periodically.
- Ensure good ventilation in all places, especially gathering places and toilets, with the use of natural ventilation.
- Regularly change or clean air filters for ventilation devices, especially air conditioners.
- Single-use tools must be provided in social care centers, such as spoons and plates, and special tools for the elderly must be allocated such as towels and clothes.
- Continuously disinfect interactive screens or touch-based guidance screens, if any, or place disinfectant wipes next to them.
- Provide no-touch waste bins, and the waste must be disposed of continuously.
- Health employees and practitioners must wear surgical masks throughout their work hours, and follow instructions for infection control in health facilities.
- Visitors must wear surgical masks during their stay in the social care centers.
- The elderly must not be forced to wear masks because masks may cause difficulty in breathing, an evaluation must be done by a doctor to check the elderly’s ability to wear masks from a health point of view, and they must be urged to cover the mouth and nose with any cloth cover.
- Prevent shaking hands and hugging between the elderly and visitors.
- Allow all social activities, meetings, events and trips including eating in groups in lounges and buffet with adhering to following the protocols of restaurants and café.
Communication and Awareness
- Visitors, employees and the elderly must be educated about COVID-19 and the precautionary measures that must be taken. By making them aware of the following:
- Definition of the disease, its methods of transmission, its symptoms, and the need to disclose symptoms.
- Protection from COVID-19, including awareness of the importance of hand washing and disinfection, how to use a mask and other means of protection.
- Following the etiquette of sneezing and coughing (use a paper tissue and use the elbow by bending the arm).
- Educational posters must be distributed at various places in social care centers.
- Health and personal care providers must be educated and trained.
- Encourage the elderly to wear masks if they do not have any health problems and the importance of wearing masks.
- Infection control departments in the elderly social care centers must develop a plan to receive new arrivals and how to deal with them regarding COVID-19.
- An infection control employee must be present to supervise elderly social care centers.
- Promote residents’ physical, psychological and social health in elderly social care centers and provide appropriate healthy diets according to their health status.
- The application of preventive and rehabilitative health programs for the elderly must be organized.
- Continue organizing the health follow-up for chronic diseases in hospitals, and coordinate with specialized clinics in rescheduling appointments and dispensing medicines.
- Provide and support health services in social care centers.
- Health requirements must be followed in the workers’ accommodation.
- A trained employee must be assigned to follow infection control tasks in every elderly social care center, to monitor infection and follow up on the implementation of precautionary measures.
- Develop alternative plans in case of shortage of employees and health practitioners due to absence or sickness, to ensure the continuity of work with high efficiency.