With all care home staff and residents now eligible for testing, with a priority given to those in homes looking after residents over 65 years of age, a new online portal has been launched to streamline the process of arranging coronavirus test kit deliveries.
As national testing capacity continues to increase, the government is prioritising testing for care homes and other areas identified as having the greatest need. As such, across England, all symptomatic and asymptomatic care home staff and residents can be tested.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is working alongside local authority Directors of Public Health, Directors of Adult Social Services and local NHS providers to deliver this testing programme for care homes.
Tens of thousands of care home workers and residents have already been tested, either by Public Health England or at drive through testing sites, mobile testing units and via satellite testing kits – packages of tests sent to care homes for staff to use on residents.
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said: “The additional testing capacity we have achieved delivers many thousands of tests a day for residents and staff in care homes.
“This new portal allows those who book tests for staff and residents to do so even more easily, and it also offers a route for the prioritisation of care homes with the greatest need.
“We will continue to grow our testing capacity, as we know the certainty and confidence that high quality testing can provide.”
Minister of State for Care Helen Whately added: “Care homes are on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19 and we are determined that staff have everything they need to keep themselves and their residents safe.
“Testing is a crucial part of this. It helps prevent and control outbreaks and means steps can be taken to reduce the spread the virus and protect the most vulnerable.
“By prioritising thousands of tests for care home staff and residents, we can target our national testing capacity in the areas and care homes with the greatest need.”