COVID-19 is a notifiable disease. The PHE lab informs the East of England Health Protection Team whenever a COVID-19 test is positive, but there is often significant delay before a patient’s result is known. If a patient with clinically suspected COVID disease is admitted from a care home, prison or other residential institution, this may mean that other people in that institution are at risk, and mitigating public health measures will be delayed if prompt action is not taken.

All cases of clinically suspected COVID disease admitted from care homes, prisons or other residential institutions should be reported by phone (0300 303 8537, option 1; out of hours 01603 481 221) within 24 hours of admission. This should be followed up by written notification within 3 days (phe.EoEHPT@nhs.net).