Wefan Gymraeg

All care home residents and staff must be tested

Everyone in care homes needs to be tested for Covid-19, not just those displaying symptoms.

By Callum James Littlemore, Apr 29, 2020 11:04

Worried-looking woman with her hand to her head.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have criticised the decision to not roll out Covid-19 testing to everyone in Welsh care homes.

On Tuesday the UK Government announced an expansion of it's policy regarding testing in care homes, promising everyone in care homes with cases would be tested. 

However Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething has confirmed this policy will not be implimented in Wales, with only those displaying symptoms being tested.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said:

"It's incredibly concerning that residents and staff in care homes, where there are suspected cases of Covid-19, are not being guaranteed tests unless they are displaying symptoms.

"If we want to keep people safe and contain the spread of this virus then we need to ensure everyone who is potentially exposed is tested and can be treated. Failure to test will only cause further concern and distress to the family and loved ones of those living or working in our care homes.

"I urge the Health Minister to think again as getting this wrong will cost lives."

Cllr Rodney Berman, lead Lib Dem list candidate for South Wales Central for the 2021 Senedd elections, added:

"This is a fundamental misjudgement by the Welsh Health Minister. We know that those who have coronavirus often will not display symptoms for a number of days, and some may not display any at all.

"By only testing those displaying symptoms, we're creating a bizarre situation where some care homes may require multiple visits to carry out tests if residents or staff have the virus but aren’t showing any symptoms at the initial point of testing. It will also prevent staff having a chance to find out they have the virus early on, enabling them to stay away.

"I hope the Health Minister will reconsider this position and give people the reassurance they need by making sure everyone in our care homes can be tested. This is about protecting the lives of some of our most vulnerable residents after all."

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