The national guidance on visiting arrangements in care homes published on 22 July 2020 requires the Director of Public Health to make a risk assessment with regard to visiting a care home in the area we administer.

You will be aware of the current national transmission rates.  The rate of cases in the Torbay population compared with other authorities and England as a whole is regularly updated on our latest coronavirus figures page. Our rates remain significantly lower than the England rate.  We are currently seeing an increase in notifications of single cases of COVID-19 amongst staff in care homes, identified through asymptomatic testing.

Visiting in care homes requires ongoing consideration of:

  • the circumstances of the individual care home (for example staffing, categories and vulnerabilities of residents, and outbreak status)
  • local circumstances (local transmission risk, presence of outbreaks in the community).

At present, providing infection control guidance is followed, care homes can continue with their own visiting policies. However, this situation is subject to regular ongoing risk assessment and may change in the future, at which point care settings will be notified. Our priority is to ensure that everyone is as safe as possible.

Please take this opportunity to review the guidance for visiting arrangements for care homes. This sets out the considerations and precautions which should be taken into account by the provider. Providers may apply different rules for different residents or categories of resident, if they think it appropriate, based on an assessment of risk of contracting COVID-19 in relation to such residents. 

Thank you for your continued support.

Dr Caroline Dimond
Director of Public Health
Torbay Council