Guernsey’s testing facility for covid-19 is now up and running, and has already identified a ‘cluster’ of patients with the virus within a family and another at a local nursing home.
On Sunday evening, 45 patients were officially confirmed to have the illness in Guernsey, but that rose to 60 once results were returned from the new test site were received.
The news raises hopes for Jersey, with Chief Minister Senator John Le Fondré saying that he would be talking to his Guernsey counterpart about the topic of sharing facilities in further depth today.
Video: The press conference this morning.
The delay in receiving Jersey results from a lab in London is four to five days, and was cited by the Health Minister as one of the key reasons that the island entered lockdown today.
Guernsey’s facility, meanwhile, allows test results to be turned around within 24 hours.
Among the latest cases identified in Guernsey, five were identified through contact tracing from another positive test result.
As well as the cluster of three patients all testing positive from one nursing home, a family cluster has also been identified. No further details have been given about those patients.
This little thing is it. All the way from Oz. However, still a lot of work to do before testing can begin. Training, testing and certification. First trials show good results. Once complete and we get delivery of extraction reagents we can begin wider testing. https://t.co/d04gEXkyiI pic.twitter.com/jLg5djfoI5— Heidi Soulsby (@HeidiSoulsby) March 26, 2020
Extra support has been given to the people at the centre of those two clusters.
A community care manager has been assigned to lead a team of staff to support the network of care homes in the islands.
All staff and residents at the care home at the centre of the cluster identified have also been tested to try and establish any further positive patients.
The latest testing figures for Jersey show that there are 81 patients officially confirmed to have the virus - 10 of which are being treated in hospital.
748 islanders returned a negative result, and two tests are outstanding.
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