21 July 2020 - NW1538
Graham, Ms SJ to ask the Minister of Health
(1)(a) How frequently are the staff at the quarantine sites for repatriated South African citizens tested, (b) how are the staff tested and (c) how are the rooms sanitised between stays; (2) whether (a) the floors of the sites are cleaned and disinfected three times a day in line with the guidelines, (b) rooms are being cleaned every third day in accordance with the guidelines, (c) separate groups within one site are kept separate and allocated separate staff, (d) staff members are quarantined and (e) new arrivals are briefed by the facility manager on arrival regarding the guidelines, number of people and number of positive cases; if not, in each case, what is the sanction for noncompliance; if so, what is the name of the person who monitors (i) each specified activity and (ii) compliance in each case?
1. (a) Staff are tested normally during the activation of a quarantine site. Thereafter they are monitored for symptoms daily as per normal workplace protocols. Retesting only occurs when staff exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms.
(b) Staff are tested by the clinical team that forms part of the operationalisation of the site. The staff would be tested separately from the PUI (persons under investigation) testing.
(c) All rooms are deep cleaned and all surfaces disinfected as per the IPC guidelines. All linen, healthcare waste and medical equipment are removed and sent for disinfection or discarded. All spaces are cleaned with water and detergent and wiped with disinfectant.
2. Yes. The items below are monitored by the facility manager on site and implemented through the housekeeping structures of the facility.
(a) the floors of the sites are cleaned and disinfected three times a day in line with the guidelines, and floors to communal spaces are cleaned 2-3 times per day using water and detergent. The daily cleaning of the entire quarantine facility with disinfectants as specified in the IPC Manual is advised including surface mopping of all the floors, communal bathrooms and other shared spaces.
(b) rooms are being cleaned every third day in accordance with the guidelines. Residents should wherever possible be responsible for cleaning their own rooms. The facility however supplements this with cleaning of bathrooms, toilet facilities, undersides of beds and other related items placed in the rooms of quarantined people.
(c) separate groups within one site are kept separate and allocated separate staff. This is done where possible. As people are in quarantine they are limited mostly to their room. A roster is developed to allow people into common areas in small groups. This is done, taking into consideration the group they belong to. Staff however are not normally allocated per group as they have limited contact with residents. Those that do have direct contact would be limited to a certain set of people.
(d) staff members are quarantined.
(e) The adjustments to the approved guidelines no longer call for the clinical team to be on site due to the limitation of resources available. Clinical staff can now be given more than one quarantine site to service and can rotate between those.
Where possible, staff members that have direct access to those quarantined, would be encouraged to quarantine with the group that they service. However, staff members that have no contact, although encouraged to stay on premise, are allowed off site.
It is to be noted that sometimes new arrivals get to quarantine sites late in the evening or early morning after a long and tiring journey. The last thing that they are willing to listen to, is a briefing. Towards these we allow the facility to check them in as quick as possible to allow them some rest without a briefing. Alternative methods of briefing are explored in these cases e.g. through an information sheet in the rooms or briefed by the clinical team the next day during daily monitoring. Briefing normally entails what they can expect to experience during the quarantine period, the rules and protocols and basic questions they might have. It rarely deals with the number of people on site and the number of positive cases.