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DUP South Antrim MLA Pam Cameron who is also the Vice-Chair of the NI Assembly Health Committee has urged the Department of Health to ensure there is no hierarchy in terms of protection of our most vulnerable.

Mrs Cameron said,

“For several weeks, we have been urging the DoH to start daily testing of all healthcare staff. This would include domiciliary care workers as well as workers in supported living / sheltered accommodation facilities. These are critically important jobs amongst our most vulnerable, the elderly.

From 12 October until 12 November the number of outbreaks in care homes for the elderly more than tripled. That was at a time when all close contact and hospitality was closed. It is clear, without visitors, the main spread in these facilities is from staff arriving and leaving.

I appreciate the risk assessments from the Department of Health but it stands to logic that if someone is tested every day that will increase the chances of a positive case being detected.

There should be no hierarchy in terms of protection of our most vulnerable. Those living in care settings and supported living units with shared facilities must have access to appropriate testing of residents and staff.”