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Safe Places: additional COVID guidance for selected places and services

‚ÄčAbout Safe Places

Safe Places are the collective group of locations where there may be an increased risk of negative COVID impact. This group includes:

  • hospitals and HCS
  • care homes including hospice
  • domiciliary care workers including FNHC
  • prisons
  • GP practices
  • dental practices
  • emergency services (Ambulance, FRS, SOJP, Honorary Police)

In these environments, additional COVID-19 measures may be appropriate based on current level of risk.

In line with general guidance, staff should not attend work when they are unwell and maintaining a well ventilated workplace is strongly recommended.

Testing

Pre-admission testing with an LFT is recommended before being admitted to hospital, care homes or prisons. 

If you test positive on a pre-admission LFT, you should register your result and ensure the hospital team are aware of your result.

If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 you should stay at home and take a Lateral Flow Test (LFT). 

Within the hospitals, care homes and prisons, additional testing or other measures may be put in place in the event of an outbreak, based on Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) and Public Health advice.

Mask wearing

Health, care, and emergency services will now make their own decisions on mask wearing for their staff and in their premises. Each organisation will have responsibility to determine their own mask wearing requirements, based on a self-assessed level of risk.

This risk-based approach should consider the overall approach to minimising transmission of COVID-19 within your setting.

Guidance on health and safety risk assessment is available from risk assessments.

Additional information can be found from UKHSA or equivalent organisations, for example the section on facemasks within COVID-19 supplement to the infection prevention and control resource for adult social care on GOV.UK.

There are still some circumstances where it is recommended that care workers and visitors wear masks to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission, including if the person cared for is known or suspected to have COVID-19. More information can be found in the PPE guidance section.

PPE guidance

Guidance on recommended Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for COVID, Flu and RSV in health and care settings can be found below.

The guidance is based on information provided to the NHS, published by Public Health England. It has been developed by the infection control team and the senior clinical lead within Health and Community Services and approved by the Consultant in Communicable Disease Control (CCDC).

Recommended PPE for healthcare settings

Positive COVID-19 cases

COVID-19 infection is confirmed by an LFT, PCR or DiaSorin test.

If you have a positive COVID-19 test, you should stay at home to stop the virus spreading.

If you have a clinical condition that puts your immune system at risk, you should speak to your GP within 5 days of starting to experience symptoms, as you may be eligible for anti-viral treatment.

It's a good idea to tell people you have spent a lot of time with over the last 3 days that you have tested positive. They should watch out for symptoms and avoid contact with vulnerable people for at least 10 days after contact with you.

Returning to work

Staff and residents should follow the general population guidance for when you can safely leave isolation after a positive test.

Positive COVID-19 cases

If you are still feeling unwell after five days, you should contact your GP for further advice.

Some employers or job roles may have different requirements on when you can return to your workplace after a positive test.

Check with your employer for further information.

Support whilst isolating

If you develop severe COVID-19 symptoms or are worried about your condition, contact your GP or call 999 in an emergency.

If you're unable to work because you're unwell, you may be able to claim Short Term Incapacity Allowance.

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