April 15, 2020 11.55 am This story is over 27 months old

All care home residents with coronavirus symptoms to be tested

Government says testing capacity is being ramped up

The government has announced that all care home residents and staff with Covid-19 symptoms will be tested.

It comes as testing capacity continues to increase and the move will also see all patients discharged from hospital tested before going into care homes as a matter of course.

Yesterday, it was revealed 17 care homes across Lincolnshire had been put under protective isolation after suspected or confirmed cases or coronavirus were found.

Professor Derek Ward, director of public health at Lincolnshire County Council, confirmed that around 20 to 30 cases have been tested positive in care homes in the county.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said testing was “key in our battle against coronavirus” and that government was “doing everything we can to keep workers, residents and their families safe”

“I am determined to ensure that everyone who needs a coronavirus test should be able to have access to one,” he said.

Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, made the announcement during a government press briefing. Picture: UK Prime Minister Twitter.

“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.

The Care Quality Commission is to contact all 30,000 care providers in the coming days to offer tests and has already reached out to 6,000.

Lincolnshire County Council monitors 270 homes across the region and those affected by the virus have implemented restrictions and infection prevention control measures.

Residents who tested positive have been isolated away from others and care workers looking after them have increased their personal protective equipment (PPE) use.

Care staff have previously reached out to local media to raise their concerns over caring for residents who may have coronavirus with one saying she was “terrified” by the risks.

Campaigners have warned that a lack of testing could be catastrophic for care home residents and other vulnerable people.

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