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Test all care home staff, says Bradshaw

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has called for all care home staff to be tested urgently for coronavirus, and added there should be no requirement for it to be done via a drive-through facility.

The South Belfast MLA was speaking after it was revealed there had been 53 care homes which have seen an outbreak of COVID-19.

“It is now clear our priorities for testing have left care home staff too low on this list. With 53 care homes now affected, they must be tested urgently – for the sake of their own well-being and for that of residents,” she said.

“Furthermore, while drive-through centres including the new one opening at Balmoral can be used for this, it is essential there be no requirement for this to be done via a drive-through centre. We must remember care home staff often have no access to a car. Alternative, immediate arrangements must be made for them.

“I would urge the Health Minister to pursue this without delay, and to implement a programme which will not just see testing in the coming days, but which will enable ongoing testing to protect staff and residents and stop clusters developing.”