Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan MLA said that news that residents and staff in care homes are to be regularly tested is vital in ensuring that care homes are safer in the face of any further spike in the COVID-19.
Pat Sheehan said:
“Sinn Féin have previously directly called on the Minister of Health to have a rolling testing programme for care homes. We didn’t get a commitment then but I am happy to see one now.
“I welcome the news today that staff and residents within care homes will have access to a rolling programme of testing for coronavirus.
“Care home residents and staff have been in the epicentre in the fight against COVID-19. They have faced many challenges and strains with 40% of COVID-19 deaths occurring within care homes and care home residents making up 50% of all COVID-19 deaths.
“Care home residents have suffered disproportionately throughout this pandemic, with incredibly high rates of coronavirus and being isolated due to restricted visits from loved ones.
“For many this programme has come too late.
“However, it will be vital that this service is rolled out as an additional measure and support to help keep care home residents and staff safe.”