Coronavirus in Scotland: significant Covid outbreak at Edinburgh and West Lothian care homes leads to resident deaths

Two Scottish care homes are being investigated after facing major Covid-19 outbreaks resulting in several deaths and at least 82 infections.

Tuesday, 6th October 2020, 2:20 pm

Specialist teams, led by NHS Lothian, have been called in to assess the significant number of cases confirmed in Redmill Care Home in West Lothian and Milford House in Edinburgh.

So far, a small number of residents at the care homes affected have since died.

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Redmill Care Home in West Lothian picture: Google Images
Redmill Care Home in West Lothian picture: Google Images

In Redmill Care Home, a total of 53 residents and staff have been confirmed with Covid-19 so far, but further rounds of testing are currently being carried out.

Milford House in Edinburgh has seen a total of 29 residents and staff testing positive for the virus since the outbreak happened.

As soon as the first cases were identified, the homes were closed to visitors and additional testing of all staff and residents was introduced as part of the enhanced outbreak response.

Dr Frederike Garbe, of NHS Lothian, said: “We are working really closely with both care homes, the Health and Social Care Partnerships and the Care Inspectorate to provide all the support necessary.

“The enhanced outbreak testing regime allows us to identify staff and residents who have the virus before they become symptomatic.

“That gives us the opportunity to introduce enhanced infection control measures and barriers sooner than we would previously have been able to. It allows staff and residents to commence self-isolation before they become symptomatic, which in turn reduces the likelihood of passing on the infection to others.

“As part of the infection control measures, the homes were closed to visitors. We know this is difficult for residents and their relatives, but it is necessary to ensure the outbreaks are brought under control as quickly as possible and we and thank relatives for their co-operation and understanding.

“It also serves as a timely reminder that even if you do not yet have symptoms, you can still have COVID-19 and that is why self-isolation is crucial as soon as you have been in contact with a confirmed case.”

Lothian MSP, Miles Briggs, said: “My thoughts are with the families and loved ones who have died from this cruel virus at these care homes.

“Since the start of the covid-19 outbreak care homes have been by far where the highest proportion of deaths have been, with residents at higher risk to Covid-19 and living under the same roof.

“SNP Ministers have failed to introduce effective infection prevention measures comprehensively across all care homes, which has left residents at greater risk.”

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