Currently, the first five symptomatic residents in a care home setting are tested to provide confirmation of whether if there is an outbreak.
However, as lab capacity increases every day the government is expanding testing to include all care home residents who develop symptoms.
The UK Government has said that the safety of residents and staff is a priority and as such, testing will now also be provided to all potential care home residents before they are discharged from hospital. They have said that this will provide reassurance and peace of mind to residents and family members and will help care providers to take appropriate action to ensure that social care workers and other residents are safe, including implementing isolation procedures for those who test positive.
The UK Government has said that these tests for social care staff and residents will support its ambition of 100,000 COVID-19 tests a day by the end of April.
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said:
“I am deeply conscious that people in residential care are among the most vulnerable to coronavirus. We are doing everything we can to keep workers, residents and their families safe, and I am determined to ensure that everyone who needs a coronavirus test should be able to have access to one.
“We have already begun testing social care workers and will roll this out nationwide over the coming days. And as we continue to ramp up our testing programme, we will test all current care home residents with coronavirus symptoms and all new care home residents who are discharged from hospital into care.
“Testing is key in our battle against coronavirus, and as part of our plan to prevent the spread and save lives we will ensure that everyone in social care who needs a test can have a test.”
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