Covid 19 Testing Extended To All Care Homes

Health Minister Vaughan Gething says the move is prompted by the latest evidence.

From this coming week all care home residents and staff across Wales can be tested for coronavirus.

Until now, only people who were living in a care home where a case of Covid-19 had been confirmed could have access to a test.

The Health Minister Vaughan Gething says the change has been prompted by the latest scientific advice and he hopes the move will reassure those living and working in the facilities.

We're told care homes who have not reported an outbreak or any cases of coronavirus will be able to use an online portal to order testing kits for their residents and staff. 

Test kits would be provided for the whole care home, this includes all residents and staff.  

The new policy will be in an addition to the existing testing arrangements that test:

All residents and staff of care homes with ongoing cases prior to May.
All residents and staff members of care homes reporting an outbreak.
All residents and staff in the larger care homes, with more than 50 beds.
All individuals being discharged from hospital to live in care homes regardless of whether or not they were admitted to hospital with COVID-19.
All people who are being transferred between care homes and for new admissions from the community. 

Health Minister Vaughan Gething said: "How we tackle Coronavirus continually changes as we receive more emerging evidence and scientific advice.

"We have been very clear in our approach that our strategy is about reducing harm first and we will adapt policies in order to do this. 

"Today is a step change in how we will be testing in care homes, adapting our policy so that every resident and member of staff can be tested for Coronavirus.

I hope this brings further reassurance to those living and working in care homes and their families."

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