Isolation Periods Reduced & Removed
Under new guidance issued to care home operators, most people admitted to adult care homes will no longer have to self-isolate for two weeks.
People transferring from hospitals to care homes will no longer need to isolate if they have had a negative PCR test in the previous 48 hours, so long as they have no symptoms of a respiratory virus and have not been exposed to COVID-19 over the previous 14 days.
The isolation period for care home residents testing positive for COVID-19, or for close contacts of COVID cases, is also being cut from 14 days to 10 days – to bring restrictions closer to those for the general public.
The measures are being taken in line with clinical and public health advice. This is recognising the high levels of vaccination in care homes, and the need to balance the risk and impact of infection for people living in a communal setting against the potential harms caused to residents by long periods self-isolating.
Residents who have been in hospital for acute overnight stays will also no longer need to isolate, and will not need a negative PCR test – provided there is no clinical reason to think that they have COVID.
These considered changes are ones I know will come as welcome news to many constituents.
The Scottish Government is fully alive to the harm of lengthy isolation periods – both for care home residents themselves and for family and friends – and so is cutting this requirement where it is safe to do so.
The removal of limits on numbers of households gathering from Monday 24th will also have been welcomed by people across Angus, including residents of care homes – where is it so important that visits are supported.
While it will be for care homes themselves to determine numbers visiting, it would be wise for all of us to bear the current COVID situation in mind when considering our social gatherings for a while longer.
– Social Care Minister, Kevin Stewart
We know isolating for longer time periods can be distressing and harmful for care home residents and for their loved ones. Reducing the length of time care home residents have to isolate if they catch COVID, or are identified as close contacts, reflects the ongoing risks facing people who live communally, in a homely environment with other care home residents, many of whom have long term conditions.
It is also crucial that care homes continue to support indoor visiting. Yesterday the First Minister advised the lifting of guidance limiting the number of households meeting indoors. However, she stressed that it would be sensible for people to remain cautious in their social interactions for the time being.
We therefore recommend that there should be no set limits to the number of households visiting each resident, Care homes will determine group sizes and numbers taking into account the size of the visiting area and other factors.
As before there should be no restrictions placed on frequency and duration of visiting which will guided by care home arrangements and circumstances.