Covid-19 situation ‘still favourable’ in Belgian nursing homes despite recent outbreaks
Monday, 24 August 2020
While nursing homes face fewer Covid-19 infections than during the first wave, they saw an increase in positive tests since the end of July, the Crisis Centre said during a press conference on Monday.
This increase corresponds to a general increase in circulation of the virus within the population.
That said, an “important message is that the situation is currently still favourable in most nursing homes,” said Steven Van Gucht, in contrast to the first wave, when there was an average of 80 infections per 1,000 inhabitants in April and 89% of nursing homes had one or several Covid-19 infections.
Currently, around 43% of nursing homes have infections, though only one or two residents are affected in most cases. Over half of nursing homes have stayed coronavirus free since 22 June.
“We do see in the last two weeks that several outbreaks are being reported,” Van Gucht said, noting that there are 28 outbreaks in total in nursing homes, “spread over just about every province.”
The most of these outbreaks occurred in the Brussels Region, with 11 outbreaks. Brussels was followed by the provinces of Antwerp (6) and Liège (5). Van Gucht underlined that these outbreaks usually occur where the most infections are recorded among the general population.
Some four in 1,000 nursing home residents in Flanders, three in 1,000 in Brussels and two in 1,000 in Wallonia tested positive for Covid-19.
“It is clear that the nursing homes are currently managing to keep the virus out much better compared to the first wave, but we need to stay careful,” Van Gucht said, underlining the importance of face masks, avoiding shaking hands, kissing or hugging, and practicing good hand hygiene.
“We have 11 million reasons to follow the rules. We will keep doing so this week,” the crisis centre said.