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Supporting health and social care providers in Devon

Testing (COVID-19)


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COVID-19 testing

This page includes information and signposting on the current testing requirements in adult social care settings.

This page includes information on the following:

  • COVID-19 testing in adult social care
  • Outbreak testing
  • Testing guidance for professionals visiting care homes
  • Accessing Lateral Flow Tests.

Please click these links to find out further information about vaccination, infection prevention and control and reporting COVID-19 cases.


COVID-19 testing in adult social care

Symptomatic testing

If a service user or staff member has symptoms of a respiratory infection a lateral flow test should be taken as soon as they feel unwell and they should isolate immediately. Staff with respiratory symptoms (whether they feel able to work or not) should remain isolated until the return of two negative LFT tests 48 hours apart (see below).

If the result of a lateral flow test is positive, staff should follow the advice set out in ‘If a staff member receives a positive lateral flow or PCR test result’ and service users follow advice on the government’s COVID-19 supplement to the infection prevention and control resource for adult social care guidance.

After a positive COVID-19 case is confirmed, service providers should inform TPST at DCC. This is to best support providers in minimising a risk of an escalating outbreak. For further information, please visit the  page.

If the first lateral flow test result is negative:

  • staff should remain away from work
  • residents should remain isolated

until another lateral flow test is taken 48 hours later.

If the second lateral flow test is also negative, the staff member can return to work if well enough to do so and service users can come out of isolation.

Follow these links for further guidance on service users developing symptoms and staff members developing symptoms is available.

Asymptomatic testing

There is currently a pause in regular asymptomatic testing for all staff, as well as visitor and visiting professionals testing. Staff may be asked to undertake testing as part of rapid response testing for care homes, high-risk extra care and supported living services, or as part of outbreak testing in care homes.

Staff should not carry out additional testing or self-isolate if they are a contact of someone with COVID-19, but a risk assessment should be undertaken.

Find out more about asymptomatic testing is available here.

Outbreak testing

To find out about testing during an outbreak and outbreak recovery testing please visit the Reporting and managing COVID-19 page

Testing guidance for professionals visiting care homes

There is Devon wide guidance for health and social care professionals visiting care homes, which builds on the national guidance. The guidance provides clarity for professional visitors about what is required to promote safe access into a care home with an ethos of working with the home to meet their safe visiting policy.

DHSC COVID-19 testing enquiries

If providers have any testing queries and need to chase tests results, they can contact the Department of Health and Social Care via:

Accessing LFD test kits

If providers access test kits nationally they should go via their usual online ordering route or contact 119 if they are running low. Only in emergencies should providers use the DCC online ordering form, stating the reason for an emergency request.

Providers who cannot order test kits via the portal can use the DCC online ordering form, though a limited number of test kits will be provided. Providers should allow seven to ten days for orders to be fulfilled and orders can be fast-tracked in emergencies provided there is stock.

Please note that supply will run out in the next few months in line with DHSC policy change.

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