Care homes trial rapid COVID testing
Visitors to 14 care homes across five local authority areas will be offered faster COVID testing as part of a new trial, the Scottish Government has announced.
Starting today, lateral flow testing of designated visitors will be trialled in 14 ‘early adopter’ care homes in North Ayrshire, Fife, Argyll and Bute, Inverclyde, and Aberdeenshire.
The lateral flow tests do not need to go to labs and can give results within an hour, with anyone who tests positive advised to leave the home, self-isolate and arrange a PCR test at a coronavirus testing centre.
Visitors who test negative will still have to wear PPE.
Testing kits will then be sent out to all care homes from Monday 14 December, once guidance and training materials have been finalised following the trial.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “This is a positive step for care homes, residents and their families and friends, that will provide another important layer of protection against COVID, alongside the essential PPE and infection prevention and control measures already in place.
“I’m very pleased to say we will be able to significantly accelerate the delivery of testing kits to all cares homes from 14 December, following the necessary trial phase to ensure we have the right guidance and training in place.
“This will require a significant amount of work from care homes, and we will continue to work closely with Health and Social Care Partnerships, Scottish Care, CCPS and COSLA as test kits are rolled out to ensure they have the support they need to deliver testing for designated visitors.
“However, it’s important to remember that testing does not replace the other vital layers of protection we have against COVID, and all of these – reducing contacts, keeping our distance, wearing face coverings, and vaccines when they come – work most effectively to stop the virus when they are used together.”