40% of care home population in NI has now been tested - Swann

By Rebecca Black, PA

Almost 40% of care home residents in Northern Ireland have been tested for coronavirus, Robin Swann has said.

The health minister also revealed that 4,950 care home workers have been tested.

It comes after Mr Swann announced on Sunday his department was in a position to make testing available to all care home residents and staff.

"We have carried out 64,000 tests for Covid-19 within our own HSC labs and a further 14,000 as part of the national testing programme," he told the Northern Ireland Executive's daily press conference on Tuesday.

"As of this morning, there have been 4,950 residents tested, that's almost 40% of the entire care home population.

"In addition there have also been 4,816 of our care home workers tested."

Mr Swann also announced that contact tracing was being undertaken for confirmed positive cases of Covid-19.

"We have tested the processes for contact tracing and as of from yesterday we have undertaking contact tracing for all confirmed positive cases of Covid-19."

The service is now operating seven days each week.

"This will be a major commitment as we expect this service to be in place for the next year at a minimum," he said.

"Together we can prevent the spread of infection and keep people safe as we move out of lockdown."

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