Coronavirus guidance for social care has been published by the Government to help protect the most vulnerable.
Latest figures show 1,391 confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK and 35 deaths. Those aged over 60, with long-term medical conditions and weak immune systems are more at risk of serious illness.
Care home residents displaying coronavirus symptoms must be isolated, the guidance advised. This can be in their own rooms if the home does not have a dedicated space.
In addition, staff should wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when in contact with a resident displaying symptoms.
The guidance stated: ‘Staff should use PPE for activities that bring them into close personal contact, such as washing and bathing, personal hygiene and contact with bodily fluids.’
New PPE must be used each time a patient is cared for. It continued: ‘It is essential that used PPE is stored securely within disposable rubbish bags.
‘These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste within the room. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being disposed of as normal,’ it added.
Anyone suspected of having coronavirus, with a new persistent cough or high temperature, should self-isolate and not visit care homes. This includes care home staff.
To help prevent the spread of the virus, the document advised that care homes increase cleaning and windows should be open where appropriate for proper ventilation.
It added that CCGs, NHS providers and local community services and primary care will be working to help better support care homes.
This should include sharing plans for care across the area including around capacity and working out how care home provision can be supported by other areas