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COVID-19 updates for adult social care and health providers

COVID-19 testing

For a round up of local guidance see: Getting a COVID-19 test in East Sussex.

Rapid symptom free testing for COVID-19

Anyone who does not have symptoms can order lateral flow tests through the government website.

Find out more about symptom free COVID-19 testing.

Testing is not a replacement for other COVID-19 secure measures. Continue to follow national restrictions, practice good hand hygiene, wear face masks and adhere to social distancing.

COVID-19 testing in all adult social care settings

We must continue to operate a thorough testing programme, even when vaccines have been administered.

For information on COVID-19 testing for staff, residents and visitors in all adult social care settings, see (COVID-19) testing for adult social care settings. It includes advice on testing for care homes, extra care and supported living, home care and day care centres.

COVID-19 testing for home care workers

COVID-19 testing for home care workers guidance explains how home care (domiciliary care) workers in England can collect, complete and register test kits.

For more information on home care agency testing, you can sign up to DHSC’s webinars which are hosted every Tuesday and Thursday.

COVID-19 testing for care homes

For the latest information check COVID-19 testing in adult care homes.

Our National guidance page also has updates.

Whole care home testing

Whole care home testing is available for all adult care homes for people aged over and under 65 years. This includes those with learning disabilities or mental health problems, regardless of whether residents have symptoms.

You can apply for coronavirus tests for a care home on the government online portal.

Information on testing for care home residents and workers can be found in the guidance on coronavirus testing.

COVID-19 testing for professionals visiting care homes

Testing for professionals visiting care homes provides advice on testing professional visitors.

When care home staff test positive

Any staff member who receives a positive test result (via a LFD or a PCR) or who displays symptoms should not work and must isolate at home, without exception. They cannot continue to work in any capacity, even with residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been vaccinated.

See NHS self-isolation and treatment for the latest guidance on isolating after displaying symptoms, or receiving a positive test result.

COVID-19 testing for adult day care centres

Weekly PCR home testing is being offered to adult day care centre workers.

See: COVID-19 testing for adult day care centres for more details.

Hospices: staff testing

Hospice inpatients are generally highly vulnerable to coronavirus. Therefore, there are further risk mitigations in place for staff testing in hospices. Fully vaccinated health and care workers without symptoms, who are identified as close contacts should attend work, subject to the following:

  • Taking a PCR test and not attending work until they have had a negative result. Staff working in the sector would be expected to continue working following a negative PCR test.
  • When returning to work following a negative PCR test, staff must test daily with a LFD for up to 10 days.

Hospices should try to ensure that fully vaccinated staff who are exempt from self-isolation are redeployed away from direct patient contact during this 10 day period. 

Continue to take precautions outlined in national guidance to minimise risk of infection. This includes wearing the correct PPE and carrying out local risk assessment to inform workplace contact tracing for staff working in hospices.

Reporting new COVID-19 outbreaks to Public Health England

If you have a new suspected case of COVID-19 among your residents or staff, contact the local Health Protection Team on 0344 225 3861 (hold then option 3).

They will facilitate rapid testing of all staff and residents as a priority.

Admission to care homes and other care settings

The government guidance Admission and care of residents in a care home during COVID-19 explains how to admit and care for residents safely, and protect staff in care homes and registered providers of accommodation for people who need personal or nursing care.

Help and advice on testing

First check the advice on Testing for coronavirus (NHS)

If you have questions, or are having difficulties accessing testing, email publichealthenquiries@eastsussex.gov.uk.