At least 1 visitor allowed, and color codes in residential care centers: this is how Flanders wants to tackle the second wave

The residential care centers in Flanders may no longer be completely locked during the second corona wave. Residents will always be allowed to see at least one visitor. That is one of the hundred measures for which there is an agreement between the majority and the opposition in the corona committee of the Flemish Parliament. In the centers, color codes must also apply to record the visiting rules. And will Flanders have some kind of drive-in test centers? Read here the most striking measures with which Flanders wants to face the second wave.

On the brink of the second wave, the corona committee in the Flemish Parliament is taking a series of measures to meet a new peak. “Reality seems to be catching up with us,” said committee chairman Björn Rzoska (Green). The 95 recommendations are supported by the government parties N-VA, Open VLD and CD&V, and from the opposition certainly by SP.A and Groen. They will be presented this afternoon, but VRT NWS was able to view them early.

The measures mainly concern residential care centers and elderly care, but also protective material and complex decision structures. The intention is for the government to start working on this, even during the summer.

Flu vaccination

A few striking examples. Parliament wants all patients at risk and all people over 65 to be vaccinated against the (normal) flu with a “population-wide vaccination”. In doing so, they follow the advice of the Superior Health Council, which actually goes even further.

In this way, “GPs in the fall and winter should be relieved”, because the influx of new corona patients could then coincide with the treatment of influenza patients.

Visit in residential care centers

In residential care centers, the visit must be arranged differently than during the first wave, the parties want. It is a proposal from CD&V, the party of Minister Wouter Beke itself, to guarantee one visitor a week for every resident.

Nor should it come to a system of “everything closed” or “everything open”. Color codes (red, orange, green) can be introduced for this, as will apply in education from September onwards. That proposal comes from the N-VA.

For demented residents, there should be a more tailored approach, and isolation in the room should be avoided as much as possible. Informal care should receive more recognition during the second wave and should be considered, for example, as an “essential displacement”. Tests for healthcare staff and informal caregivers must be able to perform in a so-called innovative drive-through, through which they can drive quickly by car.
Own strategic stock

With regard to protective material such as masks and aprons, the parties argue for a stock in all residential care centers, which is good for at least three months. “The Flemish government itself provides a strategic, rolling emergency stock of 3 additional months that can be deployed across the Flemish care sectors if necessary.” Nowadays such strategic stock exists at the federal level, but Beke has already said that he wants to add a Flemish stock to it.

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