16 Covid deaths have been confirmed at two Invergordon care homes.
The Crown Office revealed that they were investigating 10 deaths at Castle Gardens and six at Kintyre House.
This is in addition to the three deaths previously confirmed at Fodderty care home in Dingwall.
Castle Gardens is operated by HC One, who said their thoughts were with the families affected.
A spokesman added: “Our thoughts and sympathies are with all families who have lost a loved one from coronavirus.
“We are working closely with our local health partners to respond to the outbreak. We continue to implement our infection control measures and we have the staff, PPE and equipment needed to protect residents and colleagues.
“Our residents are our absolute priority and we are doing everything we can to support them to return to good health.”
A total of 33 residents at Castle Gardens have tested positive for the virus, while 30 residents at the Sanctuary Care-operated Kintyre House also contracted Covid.
A spokesman for Sanctuary Care also spoke of their “great sadness” after six of their residents died.
He said: “While we would not comment specifically on the medical condition of any of our residents or staff, it is with great sadness that we can confirm that residents have passed away following the positive cases in the home.
“Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those residents who have died.
“As our staff deal with the unprecedented challenges posed by this pandemic, we remain in regular contact with the Scottish Government’s Health and Social Care Directorate, as we have been throughout these difficult times, and continue to closely follow the detailed public health guidance being given to care homes across the United Kingdom.”
NHS Highland’s Public Health Team is working with local health and social care staff, community nursing teams and GPs to support the care homes.
A Crown Office spokesman added: “The investigation into the deaths, under the direction of the Covid-19 Deaths Investigation Team (CDIT), is ongoing and the families will be updated in relation to any significant developments.”
Outbreak at Meallmore Lodge care home
35 cases of Covid have been detected amongst residents and staff at Meallmore Lodge care home in Inverness.
NHS Highland was notified about the outbreak at the independent nursing home, with 17 cases confirmed among residents and 18 among the staff members.
The health board are working with the home, as well as local community nursing teams and GPs to prevent any further spread of Covid within the facility and the wider community.
Residents at Meallmore had already received their first dose of the vaccine, with contact tracing undertaken.
A spokeswoman from Meallmore Lodge confirmed that they were “working hard” to keep the residents and staff safe.
She said: “We can confirm that a number of residents and staff have tested positive for Covid-19.
“Through our support with the government vaccination programme, our residents all received the first dose of their vaccine earlier this month.
“The safety and well-being of our residents and staff is always our first priority.
“Everyone affected is currently isolating and we are following Health Protection Scotland guidance to ensure that everyone at Meallmore Lodge receives the best possible advice and care.
“Our staff team is following robust infection control practices and we are working hard to keep relatives up to date.”