On Monday morning a member of staff tested positive when they were tested with the daily Lateral Flow Test. They were immediately sent home with a confirmatory PCR Test, that subsequently confirmed the positive result.
It was what we had feared for the last 10 months; our first positive test. The staff member is asymptomatic and took no risks, she did everything right. She feels dreadful, when she has done nothing wrong, but being a carer by nature means that her thoughts are of the residents and other staff.
We had planned for this, the next steps have been ingrained for months. We were ready. Enhanced Infection Protection Control protocols were implemented, residents were quarantined, in their rooms or in the public areas for those who would not understand the restrictions. We started testing daily. All residents were tested. Alongside that we reassured residents and staff and communicated with families. Health Protection team were notified.
It is now Friday, all of the test results are back, all of the residents are negative, but we remain in a quarantine situation. All staff results have been negative. But we are clear the risk remains, but there were no PPE breaches, so we are hoping that the one positive result was an isolated case.
All week I have heard of care home after care home suffering outbreaks. The situation is bleak across the care home community.
On Wednesday I received the call I had been waiting for - vaccines should be coming at the weekend for residents and staff. I did not tell the staff, I knew they desperately wanted the news, but I could not risk them being disappointed. I was right to be cautious, I was then phoned yesterday afternoon after spending all day trying to speak to someone who could confirm we would indeed be vaccinated, to be told that actually we would not be vaccinated this weekend, but hopefully at the end of next week.