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Government criticised by family after 12 test positive at coronavirus-hit care facility in Co Armagh


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Sandringham Care Home in Portadown where residents and staff have tested positive for Covid-19

Sandringham Care Home in Portadown where residents and staff have tested positive for Covid-19

Sandringham Care Home in Portadown where residents and staff have tested positive for Covid-19

The government has been criticised for not introducing testing into care homes sooner after seven residents in a Co Armagh home tested positive for Covid-19.

Relatives of residents in Sandringham Care Home in Portadown were informed by staff on Friday that the seven elderly people had coronavirus, as well as five members of staff.

A daughter of one of the residents at Sandringham, who did not wish to be named, said they were contacted by the home on April 30, and told that all of the residents were to be tested.

A few days later she was informed that her father's result came back negative, but a few days after that she was told that some residents had tested positive. The family of the man are now asking why testing was not carried out at an earlier date.

"With the amount of people who have died in care homes my family and I are really worried about my daddy," she said.

"Ideally we would prefer to take him out of the home with the virus being present but where are we supposed to take him? He heavily relies on the care they give him.

"The staff at the home are brilliant but we would have preferred if testing for the virus had been done much sooner.

"We're six or seven weeks into the lockdown and they were only tested recently. The government should have carried out these tests much sooner. Daddy would be in the vulnerable category of course, and if he did contract the virus it would be very dangerous for him."

A spokesperson for Four Seasons Health Care, which manages Sandringham, explained that the testing was carried out via the Southern Trust and all results were available on May 7.

All 58 residents and staff on duty were tested, while subsequent testing took place as required. "The initial testing showed that a small number of residents, seven, were positive for Covid-19 as well as five members of staff, one of whom has now returned to work after a period of self isolation," stated the spokesperson.

"Management and staff in Sandringham are adhering to the Department of Health and Public Health Agency guidelines.

"Social distancing, PPE use and isolation policies are in place across all of our homes to minimise the risk of transmission and we are closely monitoring the other residents and colleagues in Sandringham.

"Our focus at the moment is on the ongoing care and protection of all of our residents and colleagues."

Belfast Telegraph