Testing Covid extended

After announcing all essential workers, including those in the health and social care supply chain, were eligible for COVID-19 tests, the government has significantly extended eligibility to several groups, including care homes where figures of fatalities have been high.

Now, coronavirus testing will be available to all care home residents and staff, as well as to anyone over the age of 65 who has symptoms of the virus.

Additionally, those who have to leave home in order to go to work – and members of their households – will also be eligible to receive a test.

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The extension, which has now opened up testing to millions, comes as the government pushes to reach the target of 100,000 coronavirus tests a day.

“From construction workers to emergency plumbers, from research scientists to those in manufacturing, the expansion of access to testing will protect the most vulnerable and help keep people safe,” said Matt Hancock, Health and Social Care Secretary at Tuesday’s briefing.

Testing will continue to be carried out at one of 41 drive through testing centres which Matt Hancock says will increase to 48 by the end of the week.

“For people who cannot get to the tests, we are expanding home testing to bring the tests to them,” he added.

“We are increasing the dispatch of home tests kits from 5,000 a day last Friday to 25,000 a day by the end of the week.”

In addition, 17 mobile test units, manned by the army, became operational at the weekend, with the government aiming to deploy over 70 of these units in the coming weeks. According to the government, it will be these mobile testing units that will carry out testing at care homes.

It comes as statistics reveal a substantial number of coronavirus fatalities have occurred in care homes.

According to the Care Quality Commission (CQC), there were 4,343 COVID-19 deaths of care home residents in England between 10th and 24th April.

Any of the groups now eligible can book a test here

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