The Directorate-General for Health has defined new procedures for Residential Structures for the Elderly, Integrated Continuous Care Units, Residential Structures for People with Psychiatric Illness and those that receive people with Disabilities and Incapacities.
In the most recent DGS guideline, it was established that the elderly living in Senior Residences, or similar, and who are absent for periods longer than 1 day, are no longer required to comply with prophylactic quarantine of 14 days. This waiver covers residents who have met isolation criteria in the last 3 months and/or have completed the COVID-19 vaccination plan.
Until this new DGS guideline was issued, users who were absent from Senior Residences for a period of less than 24 hours did not need to comply with prophylactic isolation or testing against COVID-19, although those who were absent for longer periods already needed to do so.
As for new admissions to Senior Residences, or similar, this new guidance continues to provide that testing negative for COVID-19 is required for service users who have not been infected in the past 3 months. Seniors who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 will, however, still need to meet prophylactic quarantine (minimum 14 days) on new admissions.
In this new DGS guidance, it is further stated that:
“IN SITUATIONS WHERE THE LABORATORY TEST CANNOT BE PERFORMED PRIOR TO ADMISSION TO THE INSTITUTION, THE NEW RESIDENT/PATIENT SHOULD BE IN ISOLATION AND HAVE THE TEST PERFORMED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, AND REFERRAL WILL BE MADE DEPENDING ON THE CLINICAL EVOLUTION AND THE RESULT OF THE LABORATORY TEST.”