Care workers looking after people in their own homes are being encouraged to protect themselves and the people they look after by getting a weekly Covid-19 test.

The Government has announced that carers working for providers registered with the Care Quality Commission will be able to access regular Covid-19 testing as part of the expansion of England's mass testing programme. 

Care workers will receive swab test kits which they can administer from the comfort of their own home. 

The weekly programme will help identify more asymptomatic cases and protect care users who are more vulnerable to the virus. It will also give care workers peace of mind that they are likely to be free from Covid-19 and therefore at minimal risk of passing it on to service users.

Councillor Linda Leach, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: "Homecare workers have been doing an incredible job, day in day out, during the Covid-19 pandemic, going the extra mile to keep the people they care for safe from the virus.

“We want to do everything we can to enable them to keep on doing this, and so the rollout of mass testing to homecare workers is a very welcome move.

"Proactively testing people without symptoms will help us identify anyone who unknowingly has the virus; they and their contacts can then self isolate which is crucial to breaking the chain of transmission.

"I would strongly urge all homecare workers and homecare agencies to take advantage of this testing programme which will protect both our fabulous homecare workers and the people they care for.

“If you or your loved one is in receipt of care at home, please encourage your provider to enable their staff to get tested.”

The Government says all registered homecare agencies are being contacted with details of how to apply for test kits for their carers. Homecare agencies will be responsible for ordering and distributing tests to all homecare workers for them to conduct at home on a weekly basis.

Latest data shows there were 249.83 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Wolverhampton over the 7 days to 29 November. That means 657 people in the city tested positive for the virus in that 7 day period – though the true number of new cases will likely be considerably higher.

The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at GOV.UK and on the council’s own coronavirus pages. Details of the Tier 3 measures, in effect from today (Wednesday 2 December), and the answers to frequently asked questions, are available at COVID Alert.   

Symptoms of Covid-19 include a fever, a new, continuous cough and loss or change to a person’s sense of taste and smell. To book a test, visit GOV.UK or call 119. People can get tested within 8 days of developing symptoms.