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Virus tests for care home staff set

Staff of residential care homes for the elderly (RCHEs), residential care homes for persons with disabilities (RCHDs) and nursing homes, except those vaccinated, must undergo the 21st round of compulsory COVID-19 nucleic acid testing from July 25 to August 3.   The Secretary for Food & Health issued a compulsory testing notice on July 21.   The notice covers those employed by and will be on duty at RCHEs, RCHDs, nursing homes and day service units attached to residential care homes for the period from August 4 to 10.   It also covers those who will provide services to residents or users through hire-of-service contracts during that period.   They must not take the sample themselves and should receive specimen collection services using combined nasal and throat swabs.   People who have completed a COVID-19 vaccination course, or those who have completed a vaccination course by receiving a recognised COVID-19 vaccine in places outside Hong Kong are exempted from the compulsory testing.   However, they can still receive the free testing service if they voluntarily choose to undergo the test.   Relevant staff may choose to undergo testing at community testing centres, mobile specimen collection stations or self-arrange testing in laboratories recognised by the Government at their own expense.   They can also have their specimens collected by a healthcare professional or trained personnel arranged by institution operators at government-recognised laboratories.   Meanwhile, the Social Welfare Department said that starting from the 22nd round of compulsory testing, the testing interval will be shortened to seven days.
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