Health and social care staff in Wales urged to take lateral flow tests daily before starting work
Health and social care staff in Wales are being urged to take daily lateral flow tests.
The Welsh government has issued new guidance following the emergence of the omicron variant.
The change in guidance means that ‘“regardless of their vaccination status or previous infection with Covid-19” those employed in the health and social care sector should take a self-test every day before they attend work.
In a statement, health minister Eluned Morgan said: “The safety and protection of the most vulnerable people in our communities is at the heart of our response to the pandemic.”
“Following the emergence and rapid spread of the omicron variant, we have updated our guidance for staff in healthcare, social care, hospices and special schools who are eligible for routine asymptomatic testing.”
“These staff members, regardless of their vaccination status or previous infection with Covid-19, will now be strongly encouraged to take a lateral flow test (LFT), every day before they attend work.”
“They should take the test at home, using the LFTs provided by their employer, in good time before the start of their shift, to allow that shift to be covered by alternative staff member, if they test is positive.”
Ms Morgan said: “Daily testing in this way is more likely to identify those people who may be infectious, without showing symptoms, and before they leave home to start work. This will in turn help protect patients, service users, children and other staff members.”
“We are engaging with our partners across the relevant sectors to support the implementation of this change in guidance so operational changes can be made as soon as possible.”
“Staff will also be reminded about the importance of reporting all their results on the UK Government portal.”
“This is a vital part of the programme which supports evidence-based decision-making.” The health minister added.
Flow before you go.
People in Wales have been asked to “flow before they go” This means taking a lateral flow test before going out – whether that’s to a Christmas party; Christmas shopping; visiting friends or family; going to any crowded or busy place or before travelling.
This means taking a lateral flow test before going out – for example to a Christmas party, shopping, visiting friends or family, to any crowded or busy place, or before travelling. If the test is positive, they should not go out but arrange for a PCR test and self-isolate, the government said.
LFD self-testing kit collection points and opening times
- Flintshire Connects offices Monday to Friday 9am to 4.30pm
- Buckley (CH7 2EF)
- Connah’s Quay (CH5 4HA)
- Flint (CH6 5BD)
- Holywell (CH8 7TD)
- Mold (CH7 1AP)
- Broughton Library (CH4 0QQ): Mon and Wed 9am-1pm and 2pm–5pm / Thurs 2pm–6pm / Fri 2pm – 5pm / Sat 9am – 1pm.
- Buckley Library (CH7 2EF): Mon, Wed and Fri 9am-5pm / Tues and Thurs 9am-6pm / Sat 9am-1pm.
- Connah’s Quay Library (CH5 4HA): Mon and Tues 9am-6pm / Wed, Thurs and Fri 9am-5pm / Saturday 9am-1pm.
- Flint Library (CH6 5AP): Mon, Wed and Fri 9am-5pm / Tues and Thurs 9am-6pm / Sat 9am-1pm
- Holywell Library (CH8 7UZ): Mon, Wed, Thurs and Fri 9am-5pm / Tues 9am-6pm / Sat 9am-1pm.
- Mold Library (CH7 1AP): Mon and Thurs 9am-6pm / Tues, Wed and Fri 9am-5pm / Sat 9am-1pm.
- Mobile Library Service – see here for dates and times of scheduled visits https://www.flintshire.gov.uk/en/PDFFiles/Covid-19/LFD-Collection-Points/Aura-Mobile-Library-Schedule-by-Area.pdf
- Jade Jones Pavilion Flint (CH6 5ER): Sun 1pm-4pm.
- Saltney – Woodwork to Wellness (CH4 8SE) – Unit 4 Saltney Business Centre – Monday to Friday 10am to 3pm.
- Shotton (CH5 1BX) Rivertown United Reformed Church, Chester Road West – Mon / Wed / Fri – 9am – 12.30pm
- Free rapid COVID-19 tests are now available to collect at pharmacies. Find out if a pharmacy near you is offering this service https://gov.wales/get-rapid-lateral-flow-covid-19-tests-if-you-do-not-have-symptoms
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