Thankfully we had a clear round of testing this week, which is wonderful news. We are now able to open the home.
Please read the following Guidance for Visitors.
Access inside the care home
Contact with relatives and friends is fundamental to care home residents' health and wellbeing and visiting should be encouraged. There should not normally be any restrictions to visits into or out of the care home. The right to private and family life is a human right protected in law (Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights). Where visiting is modified during an outbreak of COVID-19 or where a care home resident has confirmed COVID-19, every resident should be enabled to continue to receive one visitor inside the care home. End of life visiting should always be supported, and testing is not required in any circumstances for end of life visit.
Visitors should not enter the care home if they are feeling unwell, even if they have tested negative for COVID-19, are fully vaccinated and have received their booster. Transmissible viruses such as flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and norovirus can be just as dangerous to care home residents as COVID-19. If visitors have any symptoms that suggest other transmissible viruses and infections, such as cough, high temperature, diarrohea or vomiting, they should avoid the care home until at least 5 days after they feel better.
Precautions for Visitors
Some residents may need support with personal care from a visitor with whom they have a close relationship. Visitors who are providing personal care should wear appropriate PPE and have a negative COVID-19 lateral flow test result from a lateral flow device before entering a care home, unless medically exempt. Care homes are being provided with tests to support this. If these visitors attend once or twice a week, they should only test on that day (testing can be completed at home or on site). If they visit more than twice a week, they should test a maximum of twice weekly, 3 to 4 days apart.
Visitors providing personal care should show proof of their negative test result prior to entry. This may be an email or text from reporting the result, a date stamped photo of the test cartridge, or any other proof. If they are not able to produce a negative test, they may be asked to reschedule.
Care homes do not need to retain records of proof.
In addition to negative test results, care homes should ask all visitors to wear face masks, in addition to other PPE, if they are providing personal care to ensure visits can happen safely. This should be based on individual assessments, taking into account any distress caused to residents by use of PPE or detrimental impact on communication.
Care home residents will no longer be asked to isolate following high-risk visits out of the care home (including following emergency hospital stays) and will not be asked to take a test following a visit out.
An outbreak consists of 2 or more positive (or clinically suspected) linked cases of COVID-19 associated with the same setting within 14-day period. This applies to both staff and residents and includes PCR and lateral flow test results.
If an outbreak is suspected, the HPT (or community IPC team, local authority or CCG, according to local protocols) should be informed. A risk assessment should be undertaken with the HPT or other local partner to see if the clinical situation can be considered an outbreak and if outbreak management measures are needed.
If an outbreak is declared as a result of the risk assessment, then measures will be taken. These will include testing and may also include:
In specific situations, where the local or national risk assessment indicates that cases may be caused by a variant with vaccine escape potential or other concerns, additional measures may be advised.
In the event of an outbreak in a residential setting where care is provded (including care homes), outbreak restrictions will be in place for different lengths of time, depending on the characteristics of the home, the outbreak and the results of outbreak testing.
(Information from COVID 19 Supplement to the Infection Prevention and Control Resource for Adult Social Care - published 31.3.22. Applies from 4.4.22)