“I cry every day,” said Patricia Deliry, 81, whose daughter usually provides daily assistance at her Paris care home but has been kept away for the past two weeks as part of the home’s virus protection efforts. Deliry hasn’t been able to see fellow residents either. “We’re confined, closed in from morning to night.”

French Health Minister Olivier Veran said Friday that the government is sending 1.6 million rapid virus tests to care homes across the country to allow them to test personnel. It’s part of efforts to avoid mass new confinement of nursing home residents after the anguish caused during a nationwide lockdown in the spring. Germany launched a similar program this week.

“The goal is to learn lessons from the first wave,” said the government minister for elderly care issues, Brigitte Bourgignon, while visiting a nursing home south of Paris on Friday. “What we want is to stay on this balancing line — which is difficult — between the protection that we owe our elders but also the fact that we should respect their rights and therefore not isolate them totally.”