Residential care centres can deploy infected staff as ‘last resort’

Residential care centres can deploy infected staff as ‘last resort’
Credit: Belga

Just like hospitals, residential care centres and other residential facilities can deploy asymptomatically infected staff to guarantee care s a last resort, said Flemish Welfare Minister Wouter Beke.

The possibility was already included in an update of the guidelines to the facilities sent out last week, Beke responded in Flemish Parliament on Wednesday.

“Exceptionally, and when all other possibilities have been exhausted, employees who have tested positive but who have no symptoms can be deployed,” he said, stressing that this is “the last resort,” and that the employees concerned cannot be forced to work.

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Beke’s clarification follows earlier statements from the care and hospital umbrella organisation Zorgnet-Icuro, which is asking the Government to allow infected employees who are not showing any symptoms to also work in non-covid departments now that hospitals are faced with large staff shortages.

Currently, this is only allowed in covid departments. Therefore, Zorgnet-Icuro is asking for the exception to be extended to the other departments “if it should prove necessary in the worst case.”

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