THE manager of a nursing home with a suspected coronavirus outbreak is pleading for more tests.

Betti Korder, who runs Oaklands Nursing Home in Hove, has made the appeal after her residents and staff began coming down with Covid-19 symptoms 12 days ago.

So far, three people – all residents – have been tested at the home in Dyke Road Avenue.

But Ms Korder says health authorities must test their staff so if they do not have the virus, they can return to work to care for the sick residents.


Seven staff members have reportedly fallen ill displaying Covid-19 symptoms.

Yesterday afternoon, families who are in constant contact with the home said 16 of the home’s 20 residents are now displaying similar symptoms.


All residents at the home are over the age of 65.

Ms Korder told The Argus: “We need tests. They need to test our staff.

“Without testing, they don’t know who is safe to work and who can’t work.”

Ms Korder said she will be waiting for the results of the current tests before commenting further on the outbreak.

The call for more tests comes as the Labour Party leader spoke out after reading about the nursing home’s plight in The Argus.

Posting on social media, Jeremy Corbyn quoted the Gisella Casciello-Rogers, whose 94-year-old father Giuseppe Casciello has been sick for over a week in the home.

The worried daughter said: “What can we do? Sit here and watch the residents die because staff are not getting the help assistance they need?”

Mr Corbyn added: “Shocking news from Hove.

“Today we have asked the government to come forward with a clear and comprehensive plan for social care.”

A spokeswoman for Public Health England said the NHS manages testing.

But added: "Guidance has been issued to all care homes around how to manage suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19.

"Testing is prioritised for those who require hospital care for pneumonia or acute respiratory illness, as well as some outbreaks, ie where several cases are connected, especially in particular settings such as a care home.

"Requests for testing go through the NHS."

The NHS has been contacted for comment.

The outbreak is understood to have started 12 days ago, but despite pleading for it, the home has been unable to source the “proper protective equipment”.

One-by-one, and despite the best efforts from managers who were instructing people to self-isolate, residents and staff developed symptoms, including a high fever, coughing and breathing difficulties.

The virus is increasingly fatal to those in older age bracket.

  • The coronavirus Sussex Crisis Fund has been set up to help those affected by the pandemic. The Argus’s charity and American Express have each donated £50,000 to kick-start the appeal.  Grants will usually be for up to £5,000. More information is available at www.sussexgiving. To donate visit