Measures that Riga put in place to protect the residents, particularly the most vulnerable with whom social services work

Majority of all social services provided before the outbreak of the coronavirus are in place, except that there are various restrictions implied due to COVID-19.

Provision of warm meal to the most vulnerable – 4 soup kitchens and 4 warm food distribution sites in Riga continue to operate as before, observing all hygiene and safety requirements. Food is served to be taken away in one’s own containers and social distance of two meters from each other is to be observed, disinfectants and information posters about COVID-19 are placed. Riga municipal police monitors all these places. The soup kitchens provide 650 servings per day in totalThere are about 650 servings of soup On April 1 there were 4 new warm food distribution sites opened in Riga providing about 500 food servings per day.

Riga Shelter:

Quarantine has been imposed in Riga shelter and work is carried out in increased security, observing strict hygiene norms for both – persons who receive services and the staff. A total of 603 homeless or people in a crisis situation stay in the Riga shelter and 5 contract organizations, and 86 people stay in the 24-hour wards. Employees are provided with respirators, face masks, gloves. Protective face shields are soon to be delivered. Only regular customers are allowed to stay at the Riga Shelter and Day Centre. New clients are admitted from hospital wards or after quarantine. Persons who have arrived at the shelter after a long break are interviewed – their contact information is registered and then they have to wait in queue in order to get place in the shelter. More than 2 clients are not allowed to enter the lobby. The clients of the Shelter are monitored to disinfect their hands when entering, they are reminded about washing their hands after the toilet and observing hygiene norms in general. In the conditions of increased security, the work of two mobile brigades is ensured. They are provided with appropriate equipment and potential risks are assessed. All divisions follow safety measures, use masks, gloves and disinfectants are distributed.

In the municipal long-term care institutions: in order to maintain epidemiological safety and for the protection of the health of the clients, quarantine has been imposed and  the organization of events with the participation of guests has been suspended. At the start of their work, each employee with a signature confirms that has not been in contact with a person with COVID-19 and that there he/she does not have any signs of illness. When employees start work, the temperature is measured with a non-contact thermometer. The distribution of customers’ meals to the rooms has been implemented, ensuring catering of employees in the dining room, observing a distance of 2 meters. Additional disinfectants, detergents and personal protective equipment have been purchased- disposable bathrobes, masks, respirators, disposable pants, aprons, hats, gloves. No third parties are allowed, but individual classes or small groups take place observing the required distance of 2 meters.  A system for isolating clients returning from the medical institution, have been established and separate rooms have been set up for isolating of the clients. The premises are cleaned, ventilated, disinfection with ultra violet lamps is done. Crises management working groups have been set up. The clients are moved to double rooms, placing the clients as far as possible from each other (to exclude the placement of the client’s head to head). Remote communication among the responsible employees is in place. Due to the fact that it is impossible for the clients to shop outside the premises of the institution, the opening hours of the institution’s  buffet have been extended and the choice of products widened. Distance is observed when shopping. Regular disinfection of minibuses after the transportation of customers and employees has been introduced, and the number and location of the passengers in the vehicle is closely monitored.

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