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The Health Minister, Vaughan Gething has today announced that Coronavirus testing will be extended to all care home residents and staff - the move comes following the latest scientific evidence.

First published:
16 May 2020
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

Previously all residents and staff in care homes with confirmed case of coronavirus were tested.

From this week every care homes in Wales will have access to testing. Care homes who have not reported an outbreak or any cases of coronavirus will be able to use an online portal to order testing kits for their residents and staff. Test kits would be provided for the whole care home, this includes all residents and staff. The system will be rolled out shortly.

The new policy will be in an addition to the existing testing arrangements that test:

  • all residents and staff of care homes with ongoing cases prior to May
  • all residents and staff members of care homes reporting an outbreak
  • all residents and staff in the larger care homes in particular with more than 50 beds
  • all individuals being discharged from hospital to live in care homes regardless of whether or not they were admitted to hospital with COVID-19
  • all people who are being transferred between care homes and for new admissions from the community

Health Minister Vaughan Gething said:

“How we tackle Coronavirus continually changes as we receive more emerging evidence and scientific advice.

We have been very clear in our approach that our strategy is about reducing harm first and we will adapt policies in order to do this. Today is a step change in how we will be testing in care homes, adapting our policy so that every resident and member of staff can be tested for Coronavirus.

I hope this brings further reassurance to those living and working in care homes and their families.”