• The latest coronavirus data

  • Is there scientific support to reduce quarantine days?

The latest data from the Institute for the Elderly and Social Services (Imserso), which are updated weekly, show that it is still early to consider a relaxation of the restrictions that are still in force in

centers and residences for the elderly, and that vary according to the autonomous community.


In the opinion of

José Augusto García Navarro, president of the Spanish Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology (SEGG),

"for nursing homes to return to normality and have more contact with the outside world, for residents to have regular visits from family and friends is the situation that we all want, because it is the one that works best for the people who live in these centers to maintain physical, relational, psychological activity, etc.

The latest Imserso report on the Covid situation in nursing homes, corresponding to

the week of February 6 to 13, shows that 6,719 positives and 226 deaths were reported.

The percentage of deaths confirmed with Covid-19 in these centers with respect to the total deaths from coronavirus in Spain since the start of the pandemic is 23.21%.

While from week 10 of 2021 (end of the vaccination schedule in residences) until the sixth week, which is from February 6 to 13, this percentage decreases to 13.24%.

Regarding the incidence

of cases at 14 days per 100,000 inhabitants

, while this figure in the general population has dropped below 1,000 cases, in

residences this figure remains close to 5,000 cases and seven days around 2,000.

García Navarro recalls that

"the beginning of the reduction in the incidence in the centers for the elderly is one week after the decrease in transmission by SARS-CoV-2 in the global population. In other words, we are looking forward to it being very soon to release the measures, but even now, it would be unwise to do so.

The president of the SEGG points out that "in nursing homes, attempts are being made to recruit asymptomatic patients, both workers and the elderly. Many diagnostic tests are being carried out, many rapid antigen tests. When the resident is negative and It is in a residence area that we call

a green zone

, where there is no infection, the truth is that there is a very important normalization ".

García Navarro recalls that there are different measures in force according to the autonomous communities

and affirms that in these so-called green areas of residences, which are virus-free, neither residents nor professionals, who are duly vaccinated with third doses, have to wear masks. .


the question changes when there is a positive or close contact of a positive


So, "there are once again restrictive measures and, in general, a maximum of two relatives are allowed at the same time in the visits, which are by appointment and with an antigen test before going to see the relative; those are the more extensive measures.

In any case, he considers that the key in residences is

"the detection of positives, because there are many asymptomatic ones"


And in this aspect he emphasizes the workers of the residences who, in the case of observing the slightest symptom, should be tested, he affirms.

Regarding the reduction of quarantines and isolation of close and positive contacts from seven to five days, the president of the SEGG believes that "seven days is prudent."

And he adds: “The de-escalation of the virus can cause outbreaks and if it affects vulnerable people, we have a problem.

So in residences I think it would be prudent to maintain seven-day quarantines

. We have already gone from 14 to 10 days, then from 10 to seven and, now, lowering them to five days, at least in the maximum protection environment such as residences, I think it would be necessary to wait longer for the incidence to be diluted".

Industry Vision

Ignacio Fernández-Cid, president of the Business Federation for Dependency Assistance (FED),

is optimistic about the possibility of returning to normality in family visits to residents.

However, he calls for caution: "We cannot go crazy, at least in closed spaces we should continue to wear masks. We must also maintain minimum distances, wash hands and control capacity.

We cannot skip the enforces the most elementary rules.

I think that by meeting these criteria and with a lot of common sense we can begin to normalize our lives, not as much as it was in 2019, but as much as possible, yes. In any case, in the centers where they have an outbreak they will have to go back in the measures, but they will be the least".

Adrián de Paz, Director of Operations of Casaverde Senior Centers,

considers that, with regard to "visits and activity of the center, steps can be taken towards a more flexible situation, always with control at all times of the necessary security measures. The masks, hand washing and distribution of residents in units must be maintained."

De Paz emphasizes other issues and recalls that "the first and most important security measure in a residence

is to promote social and health coordination so that, as urgently as possible, primary care doctors are assigned to residences

and specialized so that they can go to the center or refer the resident who needs it to a hospital".

It also points out the need to create "sectorized centers, so that residents can be isolated by groups in cases of pandemic or even simply to improve their quality of life, it is something that was already done in some residences and that must be permanently implemented in all".

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