Life has returned to normal for residents of Kensington Home for the Aged which has now been declared Covid-19-free. Picture: Supplied
Life has returned to normal for residents of Kensington Home for the Aged which has now been declared Covid-19-free. Picture: Supplied

Kensington Home for the Aged now Covid-19 free after battle to contain spread

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Aug 14, 2020

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Cape Town - After a gruelling few weeks of struggling to contain the spread of Covid-19, Kensington Home for the Aged is now Covid-19 free.

Home manager Leon Courie said there was a sense of calm at the facility after the last resident in isolation returned to her room on Sunday after a successful recovery.

The home had detected its first Covid-19 case early in July.

Eighty-three residents and nine staff members were tested, with 59 residents and three staff members testing positive for the virus.

Fifty-two residents and three staff members fully recovered. The Home reported seven deaths due to the virus.

“The outbreak has put a tremendous strain on our staff, especially the administration, who became physically and emotionally drained during this period.

“Constant monitoring of staff was of vital importance and we had to give them time off in order not to break down physically and emotionally,” said Courie.

“Quite a number of our residents appeared unfazed and never showed any signs or symptoms during their isolation period. The only residents really affected were the smokers, who were not allowed to smoke while in isolation.”

Families are anxious to visit residents and this will be done towards the end of the month, in a strictly controlled manner. Visits will be limited to 30 minutes per resident to ensure physical distancing can be maintained and to allow all families an opportunity to see their loved ones.

Families will be allowed to drop off food at any time.

“Strict hygiene protocols and screening processes will be in place. Visitors are reminded not to attempt visits if they show any symptoms,” said Courie.

Items should not be given directly to residents and must go through sanitising at the home’s main entrance.

“We ask all our visitors to practise extreme caution to avoid the so-called second wave that everyone is so concerned about.”

Courie said the home continued to apply strict prevention measures. However, it had stumbled on challenges with procuring medical gloves and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

“Manufacturers and suppliers are exploiting the situation and are making it difficult for old age homes to acquire these items, with costs spiralling out of control.”

* To donate, contact Courie on 082 496 2085.

Cape Argus

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