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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

Welsh government COVID-19 update

18/03/2020


Here is the latest COVID-19 update from Welsh government to Social Landlords and housing support providers.

Colleagues

I appreciate that many of you are anxious to ensure that you have measures in place to respond appropriately in the event of confirmed cases of COVID-19 amongst your tenants to protect them, other tenants and your staff.

To this end I attach for your reference:

1. Updated guidance for social or community care and residential settings

2. Guidance for employers and businesses

These provide general guidance which will be relevant to general needs settings and some supported accommodation settings. You should monitor the Public Health Wales website for further guidance, updates and for Welsh language versions. Please note that the employers guidance is currently being translated and signed off formally, so this is a draft version shared in the interests of providing you with as much information as we can at this stage.

We are working with partners to generate further, sector specific guidance and will provide updates as and when further information becomes available.

Please also find below a brief Q&A which you may find useful if landlords are in the situation where they have a confirmed case within their properties. We will aim to build on this Q&A in collaboration with colleagues in the sector and make it available via our website in due course;

Q - Where a case has been confirmed should a landlord’s staff continue to visit the property?

A

  • You will need to decide if a visit is necessary for the safety and wellbeing of the tenant, for example in an emergency or if there is a safety related repair needed.
  • In the event of an urgent or safety related repair visit being needed the following general precautions should be taken;
  • The member of staff making the visit should maintain a distance of 2 meters from the infected person – if possible ask the infected resident to remain in a different room from where the work needs to be undertaken. The contractor/staff member should avoid touching their face and ensure that hands are washed thoroughly once they leave the premises

Q - Should we inform other tenants (especially where the individual is self-isolating within a block with communal areas)?

A - No, unless there is a very specific and immediate risk to others but note that PHW will generally undertake contact tracing where a case is confirmed.

Q – is there a necessity to deep clean entire blocks / communal areas when a case has been confirmed in a location?

A

  • The general advice is to clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. The landlord may wish to advise the resident to undertake such cleaning of their external door furniture this being the most likely area with which other members of the public may come into direct contact. If the landlord plans to undertake this themselves they should be careful to do so in a sensitive manner so as not to risk causing unnecessary concern to other residents or drawing undue attention to the individual resident.
  • If the resident has access to and has used common areas then the PHW local health protection team will advise on any requirement for cleaning
  • Public areas where a symptomatic individual has passed through and spent minimal time in (such as corridors, stairwells, lifts) do not need to be specially cleaned and disinfected unless PHW advise otherwise.

Q – how soon after diagnosis can the property be ‘unflagged’ and no longer deemed a risk in terms of infection spread?

A – We suggest that 14 days would minimise risk

Emma Williams

Cyfarwyddwr Tai ac Adfywio / Director of Housing and Regeneration

Llywodraeth Cymru / Welsh Government


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