UPDATE: 32 502 COVID-19 vaccinations across old age homes in the Western Cape
The Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) can report that the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out programme continues to make steady progress at old age homes in the Western Cape.
As of 30 June 2021, 32 502 persons have been vaccinated across old age homes in the province as part of Phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out plan. This includes residents and support staff.
“We are working closely with the provincial Department of Health to ensure that both elderly residents and their caregivers at these facilities are vaccinated, however, we are seeing a reduction in the uptake of vaccines by persons who are 60 years and older. In this regard, we wish to encourage all persons who are 60 years of age or older, to register on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS),” said the Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez.
“The success of our ability to safeguard these citizens from the virus depends on continued partnerships with communities and family member. Most importantly, we need every individual to take responsibility, by taking the necessary precautions to promote the safety and well-being of the elderly, especially those who are at high risk with comorbidities,” added Minister Fernandez.
As of 30 June 2021, the total number of residents in old age homes who have recovered from COVID-19 has increased to 2 755. The current figures show an increase of 29 recoveries, and an increase in the number of active infections from 49 to 133, since the Department last provided an update on 22 June 2021.
The current National regulations do not allow for visits to old-age-homes. This decision has been in the interest of protecting the residents, who are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19 due to existing underlying illnesses and comorbidities.
The following support is being provided to old age homes during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Protocols have been put in place between the provincial DSD and the Department of Health with regards to referrals of COVID-19 outbreaks at old age homes (NOTE: Health department do screening and testing on site at home with staff and residence - see link for more information Guidelines for Long Term Care Facilities and Covid19).
- Additional funding has been made available for old age homes for the management of COVID-19.
- Additional relief staff are provided where and when needed.
- Specialised training for carers.
- Facilitated volunteers to deep-clean old age homes – with a focus on homes in vulnerable communities and hotspot areas.
- Sanitizers and face shields have been distributed to funded old age homes
The provincial Department of Social Development (DSD)’s role as stipulated in the Older Persons Act, is to register residential facilities and to monitor adherence to norms and standards of care within facilities.
The department does not run or manage any residential facilities. The department makes subsidies available to registered old age homes. In this regard, proof of sound management and audited financial statements, with a board holding regular meetings ensuring compliance and care to the elderly, and a manager reporting to the Board of Trustees is required.
In the Western Cape, there is a total of 300 old age homes of which, 117 are funded by the provincial DSD.
“I wish to thank the provincial Department of Health, the management teams of every old age home, carers, staff, officials and family members for their ongoing commitment and devotion in helping us manage the spread of the virus at all old age homes. We are grateful and appreciative of all your efforts during these challenging times.
Let us all work together to protect our senior citizens residing in old-age -homes, our own homes, and also our communities. Always wear a mask properly in public, sanitise regularly, avoid crowded places, keep your gatherings small and preferably outdoors,” concluded Minister Fernandez.
We urge the public to access credible information on https://www.westerncape.gov.za/department-of-health/coronavirus.
For more information about our other services, please refer to the Western Cape Department’s Website below:
Joshua Covenant Chigome
Spokesperson for the Minister of Social Development, Minister Sharna Fernandez
Tel: 021 483 9217
Cell: 083 661 4949