Coronavirus: Care home residents could be ‘cocooned’

Posted: March 11th 2020


With our higher than national average of over 65s in rural England I suspect a number of management approaches to coronavirus will impact disproportionately on us. Here is one example of something which is likely to fall into that category.

The government is considering a policy of "cocooning" groups of people who are most vulnerable to coronavirus. 

People in care homes and others who are less likely to survive the disease may be kept apart from the wider population until herd immunity has been established. 

A government adviser said an army of volunteers could be recruited to support those in group isolation. 

Dr David Halpern said they could take pressure off care home staff.

If the virus spreads as modelling suggests it will, government advisers believe some hard choices will need to be made about how to protect groups that are more vulnerable to the disease - particularly the 500,000 older people in care homes and those with respiratory conditions.

Dr Halpern is chief executive of the government-owned Behavioural Insights Team, known as the "nudge unit", and a member of Whitehall's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage).