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Responses by Public Residential Care Facilities to Infectious Diseases: Current State and Policy Considerations

Year: 2020

Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs

This issue brief discusses the importance of protecting the vulnerable individuals that reside in residential care facilities during a pandemic such as COVID-19. These facilities run the risk of mass infection due to living within close proximity of one another, and pre-existing health conditions. Guidelines need to be put in place for residential care facilities in order to minimize the risk of exposure. Children’s mental health residential facilities need to educate the children residing in the facility on infectious disease. Further guidelines for children’s residential facilities include:

  • Improved mental support for children through enhanced in-house programs
  • Temporary transfer of children to another facility in the event of shutdown due to the exclusion of staff from work, setting up of plans and measures for ensuring that care services for children are provided in an uninterrupted manner (for example, other facilities nearby should be surveyed for available space)
  • Maintain services by putting to use available human resources in a flexible way when extra support is not available
  • Stipulates that the facility mandate its applicants to submit their health records and the and the residents take health examination every year

The overall goal is to reduce the impact of infectious diseases; however, this requires sufficient support from the individuals and organizations involved.