Covid Workplace Issues Update - 4 September 2020
The Family and friends care home visiting guidance sets out how relaxation of visiting restrictions should take place in three further stages, moving through outdoor visiting, indoor visiting by one designated person and eventually to a controlled programme of outdoor and indoor visiting. It sets out what precautions will should be taken to safeguard resident, visitor and staff safety.
At a national level, each stage of easing of restrictions is assessed depending on scientific advice and the progress of the infection rates. If risks are identified with this approach, restrictions may be resumed. Any home that has an ongoing outbreak should close to non-essential visitors.
From Monday 10 August care home residents will be able to have up to 3 outdoor visitors at one time from no more than 2 households. Indoor visiting to residents by designated individuals should also be possible once care homes have developed a plan to allow this to happen as safely as possible.
The enhancing wellbeing visits and activities guidance also recommends a staged approach to the return of health, social care and other visiting professionals and services to adult care homes. The guidance also provides advice about residents leaving the care home for day and/or overnight visits, group/communal activities and about residential respite care during the pandemic.
The recommendation is that, from 7th September, non-essential services should be able to resume visiting residents in care homes, provided relevant risk assessments have been undertaken by care homes and approved by the local Director of Public Health (or delegated representative).
The guidance also sets out recommended actions for the safe resumption of communal and group activities, which should restart on or after 7th September (on approval of risk assessments by local Director of Public Health (or delegated representative).
The Care Homes Clinical and Professional Advisory Group (CPAG) will continue to review the guidance taking account of changes in the emerging picture around COVID-19. You can read the detailed guidance here:
Following the announcement of additional restrictions being implemented across Glasgow, West Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire Council, we received a query around the position of self-isolation despite a negative test result. This centred around the letter issued to Chief Executives from Professor Leitch and the announcement from the FM on Tuesday 1 September.
“It is essential that people who have COVID-19 symptoms, or who share a household with someone who has symptoms, do not attend school, nursery or other childcare settings, and must self-isolate along with all members of their household. If the test is negative, self-isolation can end for everyone. If the test is positive, Test and Protect will give you further advice” whereas the advice from FM was “Above all, I want to emphasise that getting a test – and even getting a negative result – is not a substitute for self-isolating. If you have symptoms, or if you are contacted by our Test and Protect team and told to do so, you will need to self-isolate."
“The letter from Professor Leitch concerned households where one member is displaying symptoms but subsequently tests negative. The household as a whole need to isolate until the test result is known but can go back to normal if the test is negative.
FM’s statement relates to people who have been identified as close contacts, meaning they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive and therefore they might be incubating the disease. In the affected Glasgow area, close contacts can now be tested. However, if the test result is negative, that doesn’t mean they aren’t still incubating the disease. This is why they (and the rest of the household in the affected areas of Greater Glasgow & Clyde) need to continue to self-isolate, even if the test result is negative.”