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Nicola Sturgeon has repeatedly come under fire over her Government’s management of the coronavirus outbreak in care homes across Scotland. Over 3,500 of Scotland’s 21,878 cases of COVID-19 were reported among care home residents since March 9. Despite the First Minister last week insisting measures are now in place to better protect staff and residents Libby Eavis, the director of Grandview House Care Home, reported tests are still taking too long to be returned.
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Speaking to Channel 4, Ms Eavis said: “The worrying thing is definitely the delay into getting test results back.”
The care home director noted one of her staff had continued to take care of residents and administer COVID-19 tests while infected due to her being asymptomatic as the results took five days to arrive despite a nearby abattoir being at the centre of a new outbreak.
She continued: “That whole situation could have been avoided had she had her test results back within 24 hours.
“She was asymptomatic, no symptoms at all so obviously she came to work because they were told, at that time, they had contained everything up at the abattoir so nobody else was connected.”
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Ms Eavis also reported couriers had failed to show up to collect a batch of the test, effectively resulting in a waste of swabs.
Pointing out at the box containing the tests, she said: “I’ve got 37 staff tests. They’ve not been collected from the courier on Tuesday.
“Still not collected and they won’t now test those swabs because they’ve been sitting for too long. Wasted swabs.”
The executive chairman of Renaissance Care, Robert Kilgour, admitted staff are now concerned about potentially infecting residents before being informed they have tested positive for COVID-19.
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Mr Kilgour said: “The big worry care homes have, care home staff have, is that they’re working while they are positive because the tests are taking so long.
“It’s playing Russian roulette with the lives of the elderly that were charged to look after.”
Ms Sturgeon this week reported no deaths connected to the coronavirus had been recorded in Scottish care homes for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
The First Minister said: “I’m pleased to be able to say today for the first time since the start of the pandemic that there were no Covid deaths registered in care homes at all last week.
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“That obviously is positive news, but it is not a cause for complacency.
“We continue to pay very close attention and be very vigilant around the care of older people in care homes.”
The report came as the National Record of Scotland released their latest statistics on the outbreak.
The data showed that a total of 4,231 people had died in care homes because of confirmed or suspected links to COVID-19 since the virus was first recorded in Scotland.
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