Home testing pilot research at Methodist Homes has revealed that up to 8 per cent of residents who were asymptomatic have gone on to test positive for COVID-19.
Sam Monaghan, CEO of MHA says this reinforces the need for routine, regular testing of all care home residents and staff regardless of symptoms.
He said: “We now have the firm evidence to back up the need for this. To say… that repeat testing can only happen upon the presentation of symptoms or in a ‘targeted’ way, instead of routinely is outrageous. One single asymptomatic staff member or resident through no fault of their own can cost lives. It is that simple. “
In the pilot, which took place in the first two weeks of May in at least 28 homes, showed that over 8 per cent of asymptomatic residents and 2 per cent of staff went on to test positive for the virus. Monaghan said: “The Government must not squander this opportunity to finally demonstrate to our care workers, our residents living in care homes and to their families that it is not neglecting the social care sector during this crisis.”
- Researchers in top medical journal The Lancet have said that by the time the first patient displays symptoms, up to half the residents might already be infected. PPE shortages, lack of testing, and a vulnerable population have all seen care homes in England and Wales become hotspots of the COVID-19 epidemic. The researcher concludes: “Once COVID-19 enters a care home, it moves quickly.”