Jenny Harries Britain testing Government NHS Jenny Harries Britain

Government sets out next steps for living with COVID

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SEND, care home staff and residents during an outbreak and for care home residents upon admission. This also includes some staff in prisons and immigration removal centres.Children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people, where they can.

They can go back to school, college or childcare when they no longer have a high temperature, and they are well enough to attend.The internationally recognised Community Infection Survey delivered through the Office for National Statistics will continue to provide a detailed national surveillance capability in the coming year so the government can respond appropriately to emerging developments such as a new variant of concern or changing levels of population infection.

Infections in health and care settings will also be monitored through bespoke studies including the Vivaldi study in residential care homes, the SIREN study in the NHS and Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) surveillance in primary care.The government has retained the ability to enable a rapid testing response should it be needed, such as the emergence of a new variant of concern.This includes a stockpile of lateral flow tests and the ability to ramp up testing laboratories and delivery channels.The government’s Therapeutics Taskforce and Antiviral Taskforce will also be merged into a single unit which will continue to focus on securing access to the most promising treatments for COVID-19.Dame Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:As we learn to live with COVID, we are focusing our testing provision on those at higher risk of serious outcomes from the virus, while encouraging people to keep.

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