At the moment, a mask is only mandatory for nursing homes in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague.
“You should also consider the measures you are taking now in nursing homes for the district nurses, the GGZ and the VGZ. You should not wait another week with that, otherwise you will lag behind.”
According to Van Velden, the situation in those sectors is just as urgent as in nursing homes. “Why should you wear a mouth mask in a nursing home and not a few doors down in the district nurses? There are many more vulnerable elderly people who live at home than in a nursing home.”
Signals on red
Van Velden joins the plea of the Outbreak Management Team. OMT member and professor of Elderly Care Cees Hertogh said that mouth masks should be worn in all nursing homes. “The situation is so worrisome that we need to take national measures for nursing homes. Our advice stated that it should have been introduced two weeks ago,” said Hertogh.
Van Velden: “More and more signals are switching to red, so the approach really has to go the extra mile. Otherwise we will not get the virus under control.”
Care personnel in nursing homes do have the option to wear nasal mouth masks preventively, says the association of specialists in geriatric medicine (Verenso). “There is room to use these mouth masks preventively, which is already happening in many nursing homes on the basis of our advice,” the organization said in a statement.
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