NHS England has produced an outbreak flowchart explaining the actions to take in the event of an outbreak, including when to inform the health protection team.
Please report to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight health protection team (HPT) in the following circumstances:
- single case of suspected or confirmed COVID-19, ILI or flu in a resident (we can arrange testing and will give IPC advice)
- suspected outbreak of COVID-19 or flu in the care home (we can arrange testing and will give IPC and outbreak management advice)
- more than one staff member off sick with symptoms of COVID-19 or ILI OR 1 staff member laboratory confirmed with COVID-19 or flu
- any concerns about the management of cases/outbreaks of COVID-19 or flu
To contact the HPT please call 0344 225 3861 (0844 967 0082 out of hours), choose the COVID-19 option and ask for the local health protection team. Please note this number will put you through to Public Health England, who can provide general advice on health protection matters but will put you through to the local team if local action or risk assessment is required.
PCR testing in an outbreak
An outbreak is defined as two or more confirmed, or clinically suspected, cases within 14 days, detected by either LFD or PCR testing.
Care home outbreak PCR testing for staff and residents at the start of a new outbreak has moved from Pillar 1 (local PHE and NHS labs) to the usual care home testing process through Pillar 2 (the national testing programme) to simplify the process. But you still need to call the health protection team if you suspect an outbreak.
LFD testing for staff during an outbreak
During an outbreak, you should continue daily LFD testing for staff until 5 days have passed from the date of the last positive test. Staff only need to test on days they are due to attend work.
Staff with symptoms
Staff with any symptoms of coronavirus should not come to work, even to get tested. They must take a test another way such as at a regional testing site or using a home test kit. GOV.UK: Get a coronavirus test.