Eligibility of COVID-19 testing extended to everyone in care homes amid concerning death toll
Alongside all essential workers, eligibility for coronavirus testing has been extended to several new groups, including all staff and residents in care homes after concerning figures have been released regarding COVID-19 fatalities.
As well as those in care homes, access to testing is now available to anyone over the age of 65 who is exhibiting symptoms of the virus.
In addition, people who are unable to leave home in order to go to work, as well as members of their households, will be eligible to have a test.
The shift in policy will now open up eligibility for testing to millions and comes as the government rushes to reach 100,00 tests per day.
Testing will continue to be carried out at one of 41 drive through testing centres which Matt Hancock, Health and Social Care Secretary, says will expand to 48 facilities by the end of the week.
“For people who cannot get to the tests, we are expanding home testing to bring the tests to them,” he added.
“We are increasing the dispatch of home tests kits from 5,000 a day last Friday to 25,000 a day by the end of the week.”
17 mobile test units, manned by the army, also became operational at the week. The government hopes to deploy over 70 of these units in the coming weeks and it will be these units that will carry out testing at care homes.
Recently, published data from the Care Quality Commission has revealed that a substantial number of deaths relating to the virus have occurred in care homes.
According to the Care Quality Commission (CQC), there were 4,343 COVID-19 deaths of care home residents in England between 10th and 24th April.