By: Tan Tock Seng Hospital
Our fight against COVID-19 has been a long one. When positive cases first appeared in the community in February, TTSH monitored the situation even closer than before, especially when we have more elderly living in Central Singapore and they are at higher risk of developing serious health complications if infected with COVID-19.
In March, TTSH set up the Community Swab Teams (CSTs) to support our nursing home and home care partners with the testing of COVID-19 for their staff and residents, and to train their nurses to perform the test independently. The teams have worked with over 20 partners and performed some 800 swabs.
The work goes beyond swabbing and testing. As cluster-linked cases in nursing homes escalated, there was an urgent need to strengthen the safety of the nursing homes’ environments and have a comprehensive medical strategy if a positive case was detected. The CSTs worked closely with the nursing homes, as well as MOH and AIC, to ensure that safety measures were implemented well, so that care for their residents would not be affected and the workplace continued to be safe for their staff.
Besides delivering care to their residents, one of the top priorities for the nursing homes has always been staff welfare. Some of the nursing homes expressed concerns that their staff were feeling overwhelmed by the situation, especially when a positive case was detected. In response, TTSH’s Medical Social Worker reached out to the nursing homes and offered emotional and psychological support to their staff where needed.
The COVID-19 fight is not over yet. Together with the rest of our partners, we continue to work closely to coordinate workflows and processes, as well as discuss management of COVID-19 cases and infection control measures. This effort is also extended to the sheltered and welfare homes in Central Singapore.
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Issue 1: Our COVID-19 Fight (June 2020)