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All staff at stricken Skye care home being retested after another positive case of Covid-19

By Scott Maclennan

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Home Farm care home in Portree.
Home Farm care home in Portree.

NHS Highland has confirmed that all residents and staff at a Skye care home that was at the centre of a major Covid-19 outbreak are being retested after a staff member was confirmed to have the virus for a second time.

Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP Ian Blackford revealed earlier today that a staff member at the Home Farm facility had previously had the infection but recovered and subsequently returned negative results from it before testing positive again.

In the meantime, NHS Highland started providing assistance and support which led to standards apparently improving. A futher update in the court proceedings is expected tomorrow.

Mr Blackford wrote: “It has been confirmed to me that one of the staff members at Home Farm who had previously tested positive for cCovid-19, recovered and was tested negative twice has tested positive again.

“The staff member concerned was re-rested on Sunday and received confirmation last night that they were positive. It is important to stress that when someone does test positive having previously had Covid-19 that they may not necessarily be infectious.

“Clearly however we cannot take any risks. I have been in touch with NHS Highland this morning and I have asked that as a precaution all staff and residents at Home Farm are tested today and the results must be known ahead of the court hearing tomorrow.

“I felt it important that the public were aware of this development but I do acknowledge the work that is ongoing to deliver effective infection control at Home Farm.

“I am sure that all in the community will want to offer full support to the residents, their families and all staff at what has been a distressing time for all.”

A NHS Highland spokesman said: “NHS Highland can confirm that a member of staff at Home Farm care home in Portree has re-tested positive for Covid-19.

“Evidence is emerging internationally about Covid-19 and it is now recognised that some people have prolonged positive swab results and others can have intermittent negative and positive results over many weeks.

“An ongoing positive result does not therefore mean they are still infectious or that they pose a risk to others. This is the most likely scenario here.

“Nonetheless, and as a precaution, this person has been advised to remain at home and in isolation. Their close contacts are being followed up by the contact tracing process and will be given the standard advice regarding isolation and effective hygiene.

“In addition and as a further precaution NHS Highland is in the process of re-testing all staff and residents of the care home. We will inform all residents, staff and relatives of the results as soon as they are available.

“There are no other cases of confirmed Covid-19 infection in the local community or on the rest of Skye.”

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