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Care Homes: Coronavirus

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL3980, tabled on 5 May 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of COVID-19 cases going undetected in (1) care homes, and (2) other community settings; and whether this is a result of a lack of testing capacity.

Answered on

4 June 2020

Understanding the number of cases of COVID-19 in care homes and other community settings requires access to testing in symptomatic and asymptomatic people. Public Health England (PHE) uses a variety of real-time data on results of testing in care homes and other community settings at both local and national level to detect and manage outbreaks and understand the number of infected individuals, both symptomatic and asymptomatic. This data is published in the weekly PHE surveillance report. The latest Weekly Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Surveillance Report is attached.

Regarding testing in care homes, the Minister of State for Care (Helen Whately MP) wrote to local health systems on 14 May to advise of the key messages from emerging evidence in the United Kingdom and internationally in relation to transmission of COVID-19 in care homes, as well as the steps being taken to mitigate this as part of the Government’s care homes support package. A copy of the letter is attached.