The government has revised its guidance on managing health and care staff who have been exposed to COVID-19.
The guidance states that staff who have come into recent close contact with a person who has COVID-19 do not have to self-isolate if they have worn PPE in accordance with current guidance on infection, prevention and control, even if they have been advised to do so by the NHS test and trace service.
If, however, a staff member has been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient or service user while not wearing PPE, or had a breach in their PPE while providing personal care, they should inform their line manager, who must then complete a risk assessment.
If the risk assessment concludes there has been a significant breach or close contact without PPE, the worker should remain off work for 14 days.
The risk assessment should take into account the severity of symptoms the service-user has; length of exposure; the proximity to the service user; activities that took place when the worker was in proximity with the client, such as personal care; and whether the staff member had their eyes, nose or mouth exposed.
The guidance also states that if a staff member has been notified by the NHS test and trace service that they are a contact of a co-worker who has been confirmed as a COVID-19 case, and contact with this person occurred while not wearing PPE, the 14-day isolation period applies.