Care homes in England fear new Covid-19 cases as 90% of test results delayed

Nearly nine out of 10 Covid-19 tests taken under the system used by care homes in England were returned after the government’s 48-hour target in September, official figures reveal.



a man and a woman sitting in a room: Photograph: Lindsey Parnaby/AFP via Getty Images


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Photograph: Lindsey Parnaby/AFP via Getty Images

The performance of the NHS test-and-trace system has sparked warnings from care managers that continued delays will increase the risk of infection among their vulnerable residents.

At the end of the first month in which tests were routinely provided to care home staff and residents, 87% of those carried out at satellite testing centres, predominantly used by care homes, were returned after more than two days. Over half took more than three days to come back.

Related: Health officials fear de-prioritising of Covid testing in care homes in England

Ministers had promised weekly testing in care homes in the summer, but it only began comprehensively in September. The health minister

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Murphy said this test could be our ‘salvation.’ So why isn’t it in nursing homes? | Editorial

Gov. Phil Murphy has done well steering our state through this pandemic, but one big stain on his record is nursing homes.

He blundered in numerous ways: Putting hospitals first, even as the death toll exploded in the nursing homes, failing to get them protective equipment and test kits quickly, and forcing them to take COVID patients from hospital wards.

Now it looks like another misstep is in the works. Rutgers has developed an excellent COVID test that is faster and easier – you just spit in a tube, and it’s analyzed by a lab in 24 to 48 hours.

Nursing homes need it, desperately. It’s not easy to shove a swab down the nasal cavity of an 80-year-old dementia patient, let alone get the results back in a timely manner. Yet they still don’t have it, as we face the threat of a possible resurgence.

Neither do veteran’s homes,

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