Welsh Government urged to include rural Conwy care homes in Covid-19 tests

The approach to testing for Covid-19 in care homes could cause a “postcode lottery” that leaves behind rural Conwy, a politician has warned.

Llanrwst county councillor Aaron Wynne has warned of the impact on rural Conwy following the Welsh Government ‘s decision to begin testing and tracing in care homes of 50 residents or more, regardless of whether any residents have symptoms or not.

The councillor - who is also Plaid Cymru’s Senedd candidate for Aberconwy - is calling for the policy to be extended to all care homes, not just the larger ones, both in the public and private sectors.

Cllr Wynne said: “Testing in care homes where there are no symptoms of this virus must be universal.

“It is not right to penalise the staff and residents of smaller, rural care homes. All staff and residents deserve to have the confidence that Covid-19 is not present and being transmitted before symptoms begin to show.

“We know from the World Health Organisation that coronavirus can have an incubation period of 14 days which means the virus can be well established in any care home before the first person with it begins to fall ill.

“This policy favours urban areas where large care homes are much more common than in the rural areas. It creates a postcode lottery that is unfair to smaller care home residents, their families and the staff.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson responded: “We are now offering testing, regardless of symptoms or positive cases, to care homes with more than 50 beds.

"Evidence shows there is a greater prevalence of coronavirus in larger care homes.

"Eight mobile testing units are being made available across Wales to deliver a rapid testing response where needed.”


(Article published on 11 May 2020)

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