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Regulations cover for care home staff

Rules for care and nursing homes were changed yesterday to help prevent the spread of diseases.

The amendments came into force after an outbreak of Covid-19 at the Matilda Smith Williams Seniors Residence.

A staff member at another home, which remained unnamed, also tested positive for the coronavirus. The amendments included a provision that will mean where a communicable disease has been transmitted at a home, or there is a “reasonable possibility” of that, the Chief Medical Officer can order “the immediate exclusion of any person from the home”.

The CMO can also order other steps such as “restricting who may enter the home and restricting its workers from working at other places ... or from visiting other places”. Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, published the new regulations in the Government's Official Gazette.

The regulations also ruled that in cases where anyone who worked at a home contracted “a communicable disease, has been exposed to the risk of contracting a communicable disease through contact with an infected person, or shows any symptoms which give rise to a reasonable suspicion that he is suffering from any such disease”, they had to tell the home's administrator, who was required to notify the CMO.

Ms Wilson said on Sunday that Covid-19 had been confirmed in two residents and two staff at the Devonshire home. She added at the time: “Unfortunately, these results confirm spread of the virus within the facility.”

The health minister said that all residents and staff would be tested for the disease. Ms Wilson revealed three days later that 23 of the 24 positive Covid-19 test results received between late on Tuesday and Wednesday were associated with the home.

She declined to comment on how many of the cases were residents and how many were staff on privacy grounds.

Health minister Kim Wilson at yesterday's press conference (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published April 17, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated April 17, 2020 at 8:12 am)

Regulations cover for care home staff

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