Update on Covid December 2021
Covid-19 – Updated visiting arrangements for our care homes
December 29th 2021
As you know the guidelines from the Government were updated on the 14.12.21 re visiting. To continue to make the visiting smooth and to protect our residents the following guidelines are now in place
- every care home resident can nominate up to 3 visitors who will be able to enter the care home for regular visits (this number does not include essential care givers or preschool age children)
- visitors should make arrangements with care homes in advance of the visit, so that care providers can manage the number of people attending at any one time to ensure safe visiting practices can be maintained taking into account the size and layout of the care home – hence why we have implemented the booking system back and you will need to call the home to make an appointment
- the duration of visits is not limited but we will be maintaining safe visiting practices to make sure that they can be maintained
- We will be continuing with visits to bedrooms, and we ask that you do not leave the bedroom while you are visiting.
- visitors should receive a negative lateral flow test result and report it on the day of their visit, either by conducting the test at home or when they arrive at the care home
- during an outbreak, we will provide visits via the pod or outside weather permitting
- subject to a risk assessment by the health protection team (HPT), outbreak controls may be in place for up to 28 days following the last positive case especially as we learn more about real-world vaccine effectiveness and disease severity of the Omicron variant
- whilst we encourage physical contact, we ask that you are extra vigilant with handwashing and making sure that you are using the PPE provided correctly at each visit
- hand washing before and after holding hands – gloves are not needed for handholding and stringent adherence to hand washing is advised.
At this time, we are not encouraging outside visits unless it is for emergency treatment or hospital appointments.
There are certain types of activity where the risks are inherently higher and the advice is that, in these cases, the resident should self-isolate for 14 days on their return to the care home regardless of their vaccine status. This is to ensure that, in the event they have unknowingly become infected while out of the home, they minimise the chances of passing that infection on to other residents and staff. These activities are:
- emergency stays in hospital – as they are higher risk than an elective admission
- visits assessed to be high-risk following an individual risk assessment by the care home
- vaccination is one of our best defenses to combat infection. The COVID-19 vaccine significantly reduces the transmission of infection, particularly after 2 or more doses. It is strongly recommended that residents and visitors receive 2 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, plus their booster especially in light of the emergence of the Omicron variant. The data shows that booster doses are required to provide higher levels of protection against symptomatic infection. If eligible, visitors should also get their flu jab when it is offered to them
- visitors should not enter the care home if they are feeling unwell, even if they have tested negative for COVID-19 and are fully vaccinated and have received their booster. Transmissible viruses such as flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and norovirus can be just as dangerous to care home residents as COVID-19. If visitors have any symptoms that suggest other transmissible viruses and infections, such as cough, high temperature, diarrhoea or vomiting, they should avoid the care home until at least 5 days after they feel better
- visitors who are not legally required to self-isolate are advised against visiting the care home (for 10 days) if they have been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, unless absolutely necessary, even if they have been fully vaccinated. Where visits do occur, visitors should have received a negative PCR test result prior to their visit, and a negative lateral flow test result earlier in the day of their visit
- anyone who is fully vaccinated, and has been identified as a close contact of a confirmed case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, does not need to self-isolate if they receive a negative PCR test result and take daily rapid lateral flow tests until 10 days after their last exposure to the positive
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding
To ensure that we are keeping our residents and staff safe, our staff are wearing masks at all times and have access to hand washing stations throughout our homes. We have an extensive stock of PPE available in all homes and also extra stock at our head office in Gateshead.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the home or on the central email address email@example.com
Exclusive Care Group care homes are located in the North East of England. We pride ourselves on providing quality care in a homely atmosphere with a marvellous staff group who are dedicated to making people feel safe and happy and content.
We have extremely high professional standards and our experienced management team have worked in the care sector for many years, their aim is to ensure that every resident is looked after on a professional basis.
To ensure our residents get the best possible care, huge emphasis is placed on training our dedicated team of nursing and care staff. Our care is assessed on an individual basis ensuring that we meet our residents’ needs in every way.
All our homes offer unlimited Wi-Fi access at no extra cost.