Testing in a nursing home


Sir, – I live in a very well-run nursing home. The management has taken very firm steps to prevent any resident catching coronavirus.

Unfortunately, even after the lockdown, one resident contracted the virus.

All of a sudden, and without any warning, the HSE sent a small team to the home and said they wanted to test all the residents.

We are compliant and dutifully went back to our rooms and received the swabs. But the team implementing the tests completely failed to test any of the care staff in the nursing home.

When I and some of the care staff asked why the team doing the testing was not testing the care staff at the same time, the answer was, “It will be done in a few days.”

What that means is that if even one of the care staff tests positive, even though being asymptomatic, all the residents will have to be tested a second time.

This surely doesn’t make any sense at all.

Why would you not test the current staff, at least those are on duty that day, at the same time as you test the residents?

The testing process is not very pleasant, especially for us older people, when the swab is inserted high up the nose. Many residents were quite uncomfortable.

All 93 of us will surely be very uncomfortable again if they have to repeat the process in a few days.

What is the rationale, or the explanation, for the failure to test the care staff at the same time as the residents? – Yours, etc,



Co Wicklow.