Concern for rural care homes after Welsh Government targets larger facilities for testing
A Conwy county councillor has warned that smaller, rural care homes will not be tested for the Coronavirus by the Welsh Government.
The Welsh Government confirmed last week that coronavirus testing will be extended to staff and residents at care homes of more than 50 beds, regardless of whether any residents have symptoms or not.
However, one Conwy councillor is concerned that this will leave the residents of many rural care homes untested.
Llanrwst Councillor Aaron Wynne, who is also Plaid Cymru’s Senedd candidate for Aberconwy, called for the policy to be extended to all care homes, not just the larger ones, both in the public and private sectors.
“Testing in care homes where there are no symptoms of this virus must be universal,” Aaron Wynne said.
“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 Labour government 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 said evidence showed there is a greater prevalence of coronavirus in larger care homes.
“We are now offering testing, regardless of symptoms or positive cases, to care homes with more than 50 beds,” they said.
“Eight mobile testing units are being made available across Wales to deliver a rapid testing response where needed.”