COVID-19: Northern Ireland To Conduct Test For Carers And Residents

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Under the new plans to be rolled out next month, carers and residents will all be tested whether they have symptoms or not under the new plan to be rolled out next month in Northern Ireland.

Stormont Health Minister Robin Swann said the roll-out of coronavirus testing for residents should be completed next month and a rolling programme for staff put in place.

Mr Swann said: “Testing right across the care home sector is easier to demand than to deliver. It has always been my intention to over-deliver rather than under-promise.

Following detailed planning and preparatory work, I can now confirm that testing will be available to all residents and staff.

There are some important sensitivities to be addressed. There are human rights considerations where residents may not consent to be tested or may not be able to consent for reasons such as dementia.

The swab test for COVID-19 can be an unpleasant and intrusive process, so there are also issues in relation to subjecting frail older people to swabbing, particularly at homes where there are no outbreaks.

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