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Covid-19 cluster found in Guernsey residential and nursing home

Coronavirus | Published:

THREE islanders in a residential and nursing home were displaying respiratory symptoms and have been found, through on-island testing, to have Covid-19.

Director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink. (27784231)

Public Health Services were contacted on Saturday morning by the residential and nursing home who informed them that three of their residents had the symptoms.

A GP assessed the three patients and one was transferred to the Princess Elizabeth Hospital.

Swabs were taken and run through the on-island testing which confirmed that all three patients had Covid-19.

Director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink said she was extremely impressed by Community Services who immediately swung into action, deploying some of their own staff to help in the home overnight.

Extra stocks of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) were delivered to the home.

'Public Health services performed an initial analysis of the confirmed cases, possible cases and contacts over the weekend and a decision was made for all residents and staff to be swabbed today and tested on our in-house testing kit,' Dr Brink explained.

'We always knew that we would potentially be faced with clusters of cases and had therefore planned for this.'

Having our own on-island testing capability enabled Public Health to manage this situation in real time, rather than waiting two to three days for a test result from the UK.

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'I am therefore so impressed how our Pathology Services have risen to the challenge and made this testing available locally to support the management of the situation.'

As a result of this cluster and some members of our Community Services Team being deployed into the home, the team has had to prioritise essential calls to people they normally visit in the community.

Relatives will, understandably, be worried by this but Public Health has assured islanders that there is a plan in place for regular telephone welfare calls.

The team has expressed gratitude to those families that have taken over care giving where they can.

Sue Fleming, an experienced manager of residential and nursing care on the Island has agreed to lead a dedicated work ‘cell’ to support the care home, which will provide further assurance and support to this critical sector.

  • On-island tested commenced over the weekend. Test results will now be available within 24 hours, instead of waiting at least two to three days for them to be tested in the specialist lab in the UK.
Zoe Fitch

By Zoe Fitch
News reporter

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