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Covid-19 Practice Staff & Self-Isolation

TEMPORARY - From 11 January 2022 in England, people who receive positive lateral flow device (LFD) test results for coronavirus (COVID-19) will be required to self-isolate immediately and won’t be required to take a confirmatory PCR test.

This is a temporary measure while COVID-19 rates remain high across the UK. Whilst levels of COVID-19 are high, the vast majority of people with positive LFD results can be confident that they have COVID-19.

Lateral flow tests are taken by people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone who develops 1 of the 3 main COVID-19 symptoms should stay at home and self-isolate and take a PCR test. They must self-isolate if they get a positive test result, even if they have had a recent negative lateral flow test – these rules have not changed.

 

In response to the rapidly changing situation, the government has updated its COVID-19: management of staff and exposed patients or residents in health and social care guidance to reflect self-isolation changes. You are strongly recommended to check the details in full as they are being updated at pace at present.

This letter provides an update to reflect the latest guidelines and applies to all staff including substantive clinical and non-clinical roles, bank staff, contractors and suppliers; students working in all facilities, settings and organisations delivering NHS care and volunteers working in settings with patients.

There is a large amount of guidance on gov.uk for the management of staff and it is recommended that you check for the most up to date as it is rapidly changing .

There are specific headings on the webpage that may be popular

Household Contacts

Gov.uk has separate guidance for household contacts (not specific to healthcare workers) that says:-

Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 should stay at home, self-isolate immediately and order a PCR test.

If you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, you are legally required to self-isolate unless you meet any of the following conditions:

If you meet any of these four conditions (and are therefore not legally required to self-isolate), follow the guidance further down for contacts who are not legally required to self-isolate.

However, it further says under the heading "Household contacts who are not required to self-isolate"

If you are a health or social care worker who has been identified as a household contact and are exempt from self-isolation, there is  additional guidance available that you should follow to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 in these settings. The additional guidance webpage referred to is the one for management of staff in healthcare settings, details as above.

We would recommend doing a risk assessment and putting in place control measures for any staff who are household contacts of a positive case. E.g. Could they remote consult/triage from home or work in a secluded office or area in the practice with full IPC in place?

 

If you need to make contact with the Health Protection Agency for their advice and guidance, you can find your local contact via the link Wessex LMCs: Covid-19 Notifiable Disease Information & find your local Health Protection Agency

 

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Updated on Sunday, 9 January 2022 992 views