Social Care Staff and Care Home Residents to Receive COVID-19 Testing
As part of the Government’s upcoming social care action plan, all symptomatic care home residents and social care staff members will undergo PCR-based COVID-19 testing. By the end of this week, all 30,000 care providers will be contacted by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) who will be leading the testing campaign.
At present, only the first five symptomatic patients of a care home setting are tested in order to determine if an outbreak is occurring at the location. Priority will now be given to social care workers and anyone in their household experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. The care provider will identify those in need of testing and refer them to the corresponding test centre. In order to assure care home resident safety, all potential care home patients who are discharged from hospitals will receive routine testing regardless of symptom status. Some care providers will be offering accommodation to NHS patients discharged within the 14-day isolation period due to social care needs. For those who are positive, they will be subject to effective isolation strategies and/or cohorting policies. Asymptomatic patients going into care units will still be recommended 14 days isolation in a care setting which can meet this requirement.
These efforts will help the Government towards reaching its goal of delivering 100,000 tests by the end of April and are being facilitated by the recently opened government mega labs. Further information will be provided by the Government tomorrow regarding its social care action plan.