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Update on COVID-19 testing in social care

This is an update to information issued on Wednesday 29th April 2020 on COVID-19 testing in care homes.

Testing arrangements for care workers and care home residents with COVID-19 symptoms are set out below.

Testing for care workers with COVID-19 symptoms

Care workers can be swabbed at regional or mobile testing centres, or by using home testing kits. Workers can self-refer through the online portal or be referred by their employer. Users enter their details and will then receive a text or email the same day, inviting them to either book an appointment at a regional testing site, or receive a home testing kit. Test results are usually available via text message within 48 – 72 hours.

The first time a care home suspects that one of its residents has COVID-19 symptoms

When a care home manager suspects for the first time, that the care home has COVID-19 symptoms in a resident or residents, the care home manager should contact their local Public Health England Health Protection Team (HPT). The HPT will arrange for the testing of all symptomatic residents at this point as well as providing locally tailored infection control advice.

Subsequent testing for care home residents with or without COVID-19 symptoms

We are working to roll out further testing, covering all care home staff and residents, with or without COVID-19 symptoms. More information will be provided when this service is available.

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