Minister announces pause in asymptomatic testing for Covid-19
Asymptomatic testing for Covid-19 in the NHS, social care and in special schools is being paused by the Welsh Government due to a fall in the number of infections.
Figures released yesterday by the Office for National statistics confirmed the number of Covid infections in Wales has declined for five straight weeks and is currently the lowest recorded since the week ending 11 June.
The ONS’ latest weekly infection survey for the week ending 23 August, estimates the number of people testing positive for the virus in Wales was 47,300 equating, to 1.56% of the population, or around 1 in 65 people, the lowest in the UK.
Health Minister Eluned Morgan Minister confirmed the pause in testing will commence from 8 September.
The change will affect staff in the NHS (including independent healthcare providers treating NHS patients), people working in social care settings, including care homes and hospice services and special schools.
Asymptomatic testing is also being paused for visitors to care homes, visitors to those eligible for Covid-19 treatments and prisoners on admission to prisons.
Symptomatic testing will continue for NHS patients, those eligible for Covid-19 treatments, health and social care staff, care home residents and prisoners.
Tests will also be provided for those being discharged from hospital into care homes.
Eluned Morgan said: “Vaccines continue to be our best defence and we have just started to roll out the autumn Covid-19 booster vaccine.
“Everyone who is eligible will be offered a booster vaccine by December and I would encourage everyone to take up the offer.
“As we move into autumn and winter, and respiratory viruses become more common, we can keep each other safe by following simple steps, such as frequent handwashing, staying at home and avoiding contact with others if you have symptoms and wearing a face covering in healthcare settings and crowded indoor places.”
“Under our patient testing framework, decisions about the need for asymptomatic testing for patients will be based on local decisions and a risk assessment, which will based on clinical judgement about the risk to the patient, to others, the nature of the procedure and local prevalence/outbreaks.”
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