Lincolnshire County Council care home boss’s fears over testing

The man in charge of care homes in Lincolnshire said extra precautions are still needed for visitors, besides twice-weekly rapid testing.

Boris Johnson outlined his COVID-19 winter plan on Monday, with families able to visit and hug their loved ones in care homes if they take 30-minute rapid lateral flow tests twice a week. This is due to be rolled out next month.

Glen Garrod, Executive Director of Adult Care at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “[Care] homes would need to continue to ask visitors to take precautions to reduce the risk of infection that might not be picked up by testing.”

“The test is still being trialled and is proving to be pretty effective so far, although no test is infallible.”

Since November 16 rapid testing has been trialed in 20 care homes in Cornwall, Devon and Hampshire.

This enables an indoor visit without a screen separating family from their loved ones.

Visitors will be able to take a test at home or the 30-minute test which can be offered at a care home.

Glen Garrod said people in care homes are “especially vulnerable to serious illness if they catch COVID-19, and any visiting will have to follow strict guidelines to enable this to happen without offering more risk than is necessary to residents.”

He said: “It is important that people living in care homes can take advantage of the relaxed rules that the rest of us will want to enjoy over the festive season, to be able to see family and friends in a safe way. Being able to do this supports the mental health and wellbeing of everyone involved.”