What about children that remain in residential care?
For however many children that are remaining at a residential care facility, limiting community spread is still imperative.
Though children in congregate care may be at a higher risk of infection, there are still ways to reduce the chance of contagion.
Health guidelines for residential care
CLOSE OFF THE FACILITY
Close off the facility to community members and non-essential staff. While many children’s homes rely on volunteers and tourists to financially support their operations, this is not a time for outside visitors as it exposes the children to infection and violates guidelines for social distancing.
MINIMIZE STAFF MOVEMENT
If possible, move to weekly or day on/day off shifts. Seek to limit the amount of people moving in and out of the facility, while also allowing staff to tend to their own families
QUARANTINE WHEN POSSIBLE
If children are exhibiting sickness, keep them segregated from healthy children. If a staff member is exhibiting sickness, send them home to recover or to the hospital if needed. If a staff member has already recovered from COVID-19, consider putting them in charge of sick children as the staff should have developed some immunity.
If the residential facility admits a new child into their program during lockdown or social distancing, consider using a staff to keep the child off site for 14 days as a precautionary quarantine. This is especially important if the child has likely been exposed to the virus. Some staff might already potentially be outside of the facility due to staffing adjustments and this would utilize their work time and keep them employed.
IMPROVE CLEANING AND HYGIENE PRACTICES
Assess and improve cleaning practices for the facility.
Emphasize washing hands regularly, including after using the toilet, before and after eating and various times throughout the day.
SECURE MALARIA TESTS
In areas with a prevalence of malaria, secure malaria tests. In the event that someone becomes symptomatic, have them start with a malaria test to determine what the sickness might be. Unlike COVID-19, there are standard treatments for malaria that would help such a person.
Click here for operational guidelines for residential care facilities.