Six corona deaths in Giswil retirement home: staff did not always wear masks
Since October 8, six residents in the Dr Heimä retirement center in Giswil have died due to Corona. It is now clear: the home staff did not always wear a mask on duty in the run-up to the outbreak. According to the canton, this was not in accordance with the law.
A look at the current corona numbers for the canton of Obwalden shows it in black and white. Several people have died in connection with Covid-19 since October 8. The spicy thing about it: Six of the deaths are not distributed across the entire canton, but are centered on the community of Giswil, more precisely on the Dr Heimä retirement and care center located there.
The website of the retirement home says: “Due to corona cases, our house is temporarily closed!” As managing director Daniel Kiefer confirms, the institution has had several deaths since October 8. However, he does not know “how the canton counts the deaths related to Covid-19”. Olivier Gerber, head of the cantonal health department, says: “These are laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 cases. The cause of death is determined in each individual case by the attending physician. “
Staff did not wear a mask
It was found that staff at the retirement home refrained from wearing masks at work over the past summer. According to Kiefer, the situation at the time allowed that. He also explains: “The fact is that residents with masks do not understand acoustically and most of them have problems with it.” The waiver was discussed with the residents without a dissenting vote, and a mask was then worn “when the situation required it”.
Upon request from the finance department, to which the health department is subordinate, it becomes clear: The staff of the old people’s center should always have worn a mask. Sandro Kanits, Deputy Secretary of the Department, clarifies: “Nursing staff are required to wear a mask as stipulated by law. This was never lifted by the canton. “
Majority of the deceased were not vaccinated
According to Kiefer, the deaths mentioned are due to breakthroughs in vaccination. The majority of the residents of the old people’s home have been vaccinated twice for a long time. Five dead did not bode well for the effects of the vaccine. However, the canton denies the claim that all deaths are vaccination breakthroughs. Kanits to do this:
«This is a false statement. So far there have been six confirmed Covid deaths in the retirement center. Two people were vaccinated and four were not vaccinated. “
In discussions between the editorial staff and relatives of residents in the retirement home, the concern was expressed that there are currently too few staff in the retirement center to be able to guarantee adequate care. Whether this is actually the case cannot be conclusively assessed by the canton either. “The canton is currently receiving only incomplete information from the old people’s center,” says Kanits. Even after multiple inquiries, too little is known.
The canton wants to support the retirement home. However, the collaboration turns out to be “difficult and not very cooperative”. Outbreak management is currently in place to minimize the spread of the virus. These include tests, contact tracing and quarantine.