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by Louise Wilson
23 July 2021
Scottish Government urged to act after rise in suspected COVID in care homes

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Scottish Government urged to act after rise in suspected COVID in care homes

The Scottish Government has been urged to “act quickly” in response to a rise in suspected COVID-19 cases in adult care homes.

The latest data has found 59 care homes in Scotland currently have a case of suspected COVID, around six per cent of all care homes.

This is the highest it has been since March and is up from 21 cases just five weeks ago.

In the week commencing 12 July, 27 care home residents (down slightly from 37 the week before) and 75 staff members (down from 83) tested positive for coronavirus.

Scottish Labour has urged the government to intervene.

COVID recovery spokesperson Jackie Baillie said care home residents had been failed during the pandemic and it was important not to “let history repeat itself”.

She added: “The SNP need to learn from their mistakes and act quickly to deal with this growing crisis before the virus is completely out of control in our care system once again.”

Figures released earlier this year revealed at least 3,400 care home residents may have died from coronavirus since March 2020 – around a third of the total COVID-related deaths.

Around half of care homes had suspected COVID cases in April last year, with subsequent data revealing larger care homes had been worst hit.

The Scottish Government rejected the claim, highlighting actual case numbers in care homes had fallen despite the increase in care homes affected.

Social care minister Kevin Stewart: "Our commitment to protecting our care homes from COVID-19 is precisely why care home residents and staff were first in the queue to get vaccinated.

"There is no room for complacency and we all must continue to be vigilant and follow the protective measures we have in place in care homes including rigorous infection prevention and control, testing, and enhanced local multi-disciplinary oversight teams. This is especially important when levels of COVID-19 in the community are at high levels.

“That is why are supporting care homes to improve, maximise and embed residents’ meaningful contact and activities in line with the Open with Care guidance."

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