More than half of care homes have been corona-free for the past two months

During Monday morning’s National Crisis Centre press conference the virologist Professor Steven Van Gucht told journalists that care homes in Belgium are now faring much better than was the case during the first wave of coronavirus infections earlier this year. At the end of April, during the peak of the first wave of infections, 89% of care homes had a least one resident or member of staff that was infected with the novel coronavirus. Since 22 June this has been the case in just 43% of the country’s care homes.

“Mostly it is a small number of cases just one or two per care home. More than half of all care homes has remained COVID-free since 22 June”. 

During the past two weeks a total of 28 outbreaks have been reported in care homes. There have been 11 in the Brussels-Capital Region, 6 in Antwerp Province and 5 in Liege Province. The remaining 6 reported outbreaks were elsewhere. 

On 18 August 4 out of every 1,000 residents of Flemish care homes had either tested positive or were suspected of being infected with the novel coronavirus. In the Brussel-Capital Region this was 3 per 1,000, while in Wallonia 2 care home residents per 1,000 had tested positive for or were suspected of being infected with the novel coronavirus.  

Professor Van Gucht told the press conference that "The care homes are being much more successful in keeping out the virus compared with during the first wave”. 

Nevertheless, were shouldn’t drop our guard., but visits to care homes should remain possible though as they fulfil “an essential human need”. Anyone visiting a relative or friend in a care home should always wear a face mask and uphold social distancing as much as possible. The rules on hand hygiene should be followed to the letter. 



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