Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

03rd December 2020

What are the rules regarding isolation for a care worker who has been exposed to someone who is COVID positive?

What are the rules for a care worker who's been in contact with a carer who's positive? Do I self-isolate or do I have to show symptoms first?

Thank you for your question. The answer is it depends. If you are showing symptoms , you must definitely self-isolate and get a test. If health and social care staff are providing direct care to a resident with COVID-19 and are wearing the correct PPE in accordance with the current IPC guidance, they will not be considered as a contact for the purposes of contact tracing and isolation, and will not be required to self-isolate for 14 days

It is important to note that the effectiveness of the use of face masks, face coverings, or other PPE for prevention of transmission or acquisition of coronavirus infection cannot be guaranteed in settings other than the provision of direct care with  residents. Therefore, the use of PPE in other settings (such as a staff room or canteen) will not necessarily exclude an individual from being considered a close contact. In addition, if social care staff have been in contact with a COVID-19 case and are not following appropriate IPC, including wearing correct PPE, they will be considered as a contact for the purposes of contact tracing and isolation. If you are concerned , you must speak to your manager as guidance is changing frequently.


*All information is correct at the time of publishing.


About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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