Care home residents are still being kept in their rooms for 24 hours a day and having their Mothers’ Day gifts ‘quarantined’ under an “endless cycle” of lockdowns. The Telegraph has the story.
Last month, the Government announced its “Living with Covid” plan, which removed the legal requirement to isolate if people test positive. From next week, the provision of free tests for most of the public will also end.
However, care home guidance, which forces homes into lockdown if they have two or more cases, is yet to be updated.
During an outbreak, homes must stop communal activities, restrict visitors and close the home to new admissions, under UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) rules.
The guidance was tweaked last week to shorten the lockdown period from 14 days to 10, but families, relatives associations and care home providers said it does not go far enough.
Julien Smith was unable to bring his mother flowers for Mothering Sunday because her care home said all gifts needed to spend 72 hours in a “quarantine room” before they can be delivered.
“By the time she gets them, they’ll be dead,” he said.
Apart from anything else, why didn’t the UKHSA update its guidance a long time ago when it became clear that SARS-CoV-2 does not spread much via surfaces and objects?
The rules for care home residents have long been among the most inhumane, trying (largely in vain) to protect them from catching the virus at the expense of everything that makes their lives worth living.
New guidance is due by April 1st. Let’s hope it’s sensible. Or better still, that they scrap it altogether so we stop treating COVID-19 as a special threat.
Worth reading in full.