To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of making a distinction between cases of covid-19 infection among staff and residents in Public Health England guidelines on the re-opening of care homes after a covid-19 outbreak so that care homes whose residents have not had a case of covid-19 infection for 28 days are permitted to take on new residents.
13 January 2021
Section 3 of ‘Admission and care of residents in a care home during COVID-19’ provides information to care home providers on the reporting of COVID-19 cases and outbreak management. The guidance is available on GOV.UK. In the instance of a single possible or confirmed case of COVID-19 within the care home, providers should inform their local Health Protection Team (HPT) at Public Health England. It is the role of the HPT to provide advice and support to help the care home manage the outbreak, along with local authority partners.
The HPT may advise implementing restrictions such as the closure of the home to further admissions, recognising this is usually the care home manager’s decision in discussion with their commissioners and alerting the clinical commissioning group and local authority. The outbreak can be declared over once no new cases among residents or staff have occurred in the 28 days since the onset of symptoms in the most recent case, which is twice the incubation period.