GEORGE NEWS - There have recently been at least four Covid-19-related deaths at care centres for the aged in George - two at Tuiniqua Old Age Home and two at Rosemoor Service Centre for the Aged.
The manager of Tuiniqua, Alani Voigt, wrote in a letter to residents, family and friends on Tuesday 24 November that, following Tuiniqua's first Covid-19-related deaths and the latest spate of infections, they have no choice but to activate their Covid Crisis Plan with immediate effect.
"We mourn the tragic passing of two residents (whose identities have been withheld according to privacy protocols) and we pray for the complete recovery of all infected residents and staff," said Voigt.
She assured residents that all the relevant authorities have been informed and are being kept abreast of all new developments. As of 21:00 on 24 November, seven residents and seven staff members have tested positive, while 12 more people await test results.
Every resident who had direct contact with a positive resident or staff member, had been contacted by the track-and-trace team and informed.
"Our Covid crisis team is ramping up all health, sanitation, and monitoring protocols throughout Tuiniqua and Block 20 has been turned into a quarantine area for all active cases," read the letter. She stressed that the centre's community is particularly susceptible, and management must err on the side of caution.
Special steps that are enforced, in addition to masks and hand sanitising, include a ban on all visitors. Residents should limit the handling of cash by using electronic banking applications and when they leave the premises, they must strictly limit contact with other people.
Strict sanitising protocols for all persons entering or leaving the premises (staff, delivery people and residents) will be enforced.
"Additional safety measures will inevitably impact on service delivery and we request your patience and cooperation for the greater good of all . . . The pandemic has created widespread fear and frustration, but we urge you all to stay calm and to trust our Heavenly Father for strength and courage to see us through this crisis."
At the Rosemoor Service Centre for the Aged, the outlook is also bleak. Henry McCombi, the manager, said in the past month five people tested positive, of whom two died. He said the situation has deteriorated in past weeks. "We are worried."
Okkie Stander, manager of JJ Watson Old Age Home, said since Monday stricter regulations are in place as precautionary measures.
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