Lifelong best friends reunite in care home after new Covid testing scheme launched

‘This means everything’, June Crawford says as she hugs best friend for first time in months

Best friends of 60 years reunite after being separated by pandemic
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A pair of lifelong best friends, both in their 90s, have been able to reunite for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

June Crawford and Ella Boyle had not been able to meet since Ms Boyle moved into a care home in Greenock, Inverclyde, at the start of the year.

For months, the two had only been able to communicate through phone calls. However, they were finally able to share a hug thanks to a new coronavirus testing scheme piloted last week, which has paved the way for care home visits.

In video footage, Ms Crawford and Ms Boyle are seen sharing a teary embrace as they are reunited for the first time. 

The pair had been neighbours until earlier this year.

“This means everything, absolutely everything,” Ms Crawford told STV News.

“She just wants me there beside her and this is the next best thing.”

“Do you want to know my biggest fear?” she she said of her friend of 60 years. “That she wouldn’t survive it. I’ve had to do a lot over the phone, just egging her on.”

Before embracing her friend, Ms Crawford had her temperature tested, was kitted out in full PPE, with surgical mask, gown and gloves, and answered numerous health questions. 

On the same day the two were reunited, the Scottish Crown Office announced an investigation into Covid-19 deaths at Inchmarlo House care home, near Banchory, and Deeside care home in Cults. 

Meanwhile, in Dunfermline, Fife, this week, it was announced that several of residents had died at Canmore Lodge care home. 

Care home residents have been hugely affected by the pandemic, with 28,186 “excess deaths” were recorded in care homes in England between 2 March and 12 June, with over 18,500 care home residents confirmed to have died with Covid-19 during this period.

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