COVID – 19 UPDATE FROM DHSC (2)

DHSC announced yesterday that “High risk extra care and support living staff and residents will receive COVID19 testing as follows: Staff testing twice weekly, Resident testing weekly to go live in December.

We attach an introductory webinar: EXTRA CARE AND SUPPORTED LIVING WEBINAR(.pdf)

Points not made in the webinar but covered in Q+A include:

  • To date only 110 local authorities have signed up to this system and sent contact details for extra care schemes to DHSC
  • Initial tests – one batch of 40 tests per scheme – will be sent to extra care schemes in areas with a high risk of COVID19.  No definition of high risk, but it may include local authorities in former Tier 3 areas who have signed up to the scheme.
  • The relevant local authority is the district council, although the local Health Protection Team may also have information about the scheme
  • Regular testing will be rolled out to extra care schemes in all high risk local authority areas during December 2020
  • It is up to the scheme manager to either administer tests or encourage residents to self administer tests.  In some locations district nurses may be available to assist with this process.
  • Where several people receive the test from one person scrupulous hygiene precautions need to be in place and used between each test (eg cleaning chairs, door handles etc.)
  • No one can be forced to take a test
  • The 40 tests should not be used to test care workers or other staff who are off sick.  They must use the home testing service.
  • All 40 tests do not need to be used at once.
  • There is no similar provision of bulk tests for sheltered housing but home care agencies will also receive bulk test kits for use on their own staff – but not for use by clients,

The DHSC will run regular webinars which can be accessed at:

https://event.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1380165&tp_key=dfecd07a9d