The guidance outlines the next steps St George’s, Epsom and St Helier is taking in relation to COVID-19 management, taking into account new national guidance and local risk assessment. This reflects the national policy of living with COVID, as risks continues to decrease.
Below are the latest group-wide IPC protocols on lateral flow testing and isolation requirements for staff.
This is effective immediately, however please note that the guidance is subject to change as and when new national guidance is published.
1. Isolation of staff with a confirmed lateral flow result
If a staff member receives a positive COVID-19 PCR/lateral flow result, they must self-isolate and not return to work until they have a negative lateral flow test on the fifth day and sixth day of their isolation period (24 hours apart).
This means if a staff member tests negative on the morning of the sixth day and was negative on the fifth day, they can return to work on the sixth day under the following conditions:
- The staff member should not have a high temperature. Please note: symptoms such as cough and anosmia can last for several weeks but staff can return to work if medically fit.
- If the staff member is still lateral flow positive on Day 6, they must continue to isolate until day 7 (full 7 days from the date of the positive result/symptoms).
- If the staff member has isolated for 7 days AND they do not have symptoms in particular high temperature, they can return to work following a risk assessment with their manager.
2. Staff working in high risk areas
Staff who continue to test positive on day 5/6 and work with patients who are highly vulnerable to severe COVID such as haematology/oncology and some renal patients, should continue to self-isolate for 10 days from the date of positive result/onset of symptoms.
Twice weekly lateral flow tests are no longer required.
Staff should continue to observe strict infection control measures in areas and in particular good hand hygiene.