Covid cases in Scotland’s care homes ‘incredibly worrying’ – Labour

Nearly a quarter of all Scottish adult care homes have at least one suspected Covid-19 case, according to government statistics.

Mark Davey
Thursday 06 January 2022 19:08
Jackie Baillie has voiced concern about Covid cases in care homes (Fraser Bremner/Daily Mail/PA)
Jackie Baillie has voiced concern about Covid cases in care homes (Fraser Bremner/Daily Mail/PA)

The latest figures for suspected Covid-19 cases in adult care homes are “incredibly worrying”, Scottish Labour’s health spokesperson has said.

Jackie Baillie quoted statistics, up to January 5, which show there is at least one suspected case of Covid-19 in 251 care homes. That represents 24% of all Scottish care homes.

In the week from December 27 2021 to January 2 2022, there were 612 new confirmed Covid‑19 cases among care home residents.

The number of staff across all care homes confirmed as positive was 1,098.

The government must monitor this situation closely and be prepared to act to keep people safe

Scottish Labour's health spokesperson Jackie Baillie

Ms Baillie said: “This is an incredibly worrying development, and the rapid increase in infections is a real concern that must be addressed by the Cabinet Secretary for Health.

“We all remember the tragic consequences of the first wave in Scotland’s care homes and every effort must be made to keep those in our care homes safe.

“With so many of our care home staff being forced to self-isolate, serious concerns exist around the resilience of the sector in such an event.

“The government must monitor this situation closely and be prepared to act to keep people safe.”

Social Care Minister Kevin Stewart said: “Our overriding priority throughout the pandemic has been to safeguard and protect staff and residents of care homes.

“Additional protective measures aim to ensure residents continue to be able to spend time with their loved ones, while balancing the current Covid-19 risk and the need to keep people safe in line with clinical advice provided about the Omicron variant.

“The self-isolation exemption for health and social care staff is designed to ensure that we can provide essential services, continue to support visiting and manage the ongoing Covid-19 response.

“We have taken exceptional measures in every area of government to deal with the challenges of Covid-19 – and that is particularly clear in our support for local services.

“This includes the £300 million of new winter investment for health and care announced in October, to maximise the capacity of the NHS and social care system this winter.”

“From today care home staff who test positive for Covid-19 will be able to exit self-isolation from day seven provided they have two negative LFD tests taken 24 hours apart and no fever.

“This is in line with guidance for the rest of the population. In addition to this, exemptions continue to be in place for contacts of Covid-19 cases who are fully vaccinated.”

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