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Devon care homes part of new testing pilot

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Family and friends may soon be able to regularly visit loved ones in care homes as a new testing pilot is launched by the government.

A small number of care homes in Devon are taking part in the trial which involves regular testing of one family member or friend per resident so that, when combined with other infection-control measures such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), they can visit their loved one indoors and without a screen, while reducing the risk to care home residents, staff and other visitors.

Steve Brown, Public Health Devon Director (Designate), said:

“The visiting restrictions for care homes have been incredibly difficult, both for the residents and their loved ones who have been unable to comfort them in the way they would do normally.

“Care homes in Devon have worked hard to continue to enable visits in line with government guidance where possible and with all the appropriate safeguards in place to protect residents visitors and staff. But this has often involved separation screens or talking through windows, which for some has been extremely confusing and distressing.

“I’m pleased that Devon is taking part in this innovative pilot to help care home residents safely see their families and friends more regularly, and if successful, we look forward to more welcome reunions as the government rolls the scheme out more widely.”