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Source: Hong Kong Information Services

Staff of residential care homes for the elderly (RCHEs), residential care homes for the disabled (RCHDs) and nursing homes are required to undergo the second round of nucleic acid tests for COVID-19 between December 15 and 28.

The Secretary for Food & Health issued the compulsory testing notice on December 11.

Such people include those who are employed by and will be on duty at RCHEs, RCHDs, nursing homes and day service units attached to the premises of residential care homes, or will provide services to residents or users through hire-of-service contracts with residential care homes and the aforementioned units between December 29 and January 4.

They must not take the sample themselves and should receive free specimen collection services using combined nasal and throat swabs in any of the Community Testing Centres, Temporary Testing Centres and mobile specimen collection stations, or self-arrange testing in laboratories recognised by the Government at their own expense.

Relevant staff can also have their specimens collected by a healthcare professional or trained personnel arranged by institution operators for testing at government-recognised laboratories.

People who fail to comply with the testing notice may be fined a fixed penalty of $5,000. They would also be issued with a compulsory testing order to undergo testing within a specified timeframe. Those who fail to comply with the order would be liable to a $25,000 fine and six months’ imprisonment.

The Social Welfare Department urged institution operators to remind their staff to properly keep the SMS notification of their test results or test result reports.

Institution operators are required to keep records of the information concerning their staff receiving tests and the results within the timeframe specified by the Government.

They also have to co-operate with the department’s Checking Officers (Compulsory Testing) to implement the regulations within the residential care homes.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News