The total number of Covid-19 cases in a small pocket of the Highlands has risen to 31, with 29 linked to a local abattoir.
The outbreak in Grantown, which had initially been reported by NHS Highland as a cluster of five, has led to the Millers of Speyside slaughterhouse closing its doors.
NHS Highland has said it is aware of links with the care sector and has advised local care homes to suspend visiting with immediate effect.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said the incident management team would consider further restrictions – but these were not required at present.
Millers of Speyside made the decision to close for a period of two weeks voluntarily and has been cooperating with the health board to investigate the outbreak.
Millers stressed the Food Standards Agency and public health allowed the facility to remain open, but the firm has taken the “ethical decision” to close, “both protecting its employees and the local community”.
Managing director Sandy Milne said: “The health and wellbeing of our staff here at Millers of Speyside, who have worked tirelessly through the pandemic to ensure continued food production, is of the utmost importance.
“To prevent further spread of the virus among both our employees and the local community, we have opted to close our facility for fourteen days.”
NHS Highland said that its health protection team has undertaken procedures to follow up each case, in line with national guidance.
The health board said contact tracing is being carried out, with all those identified as close contacts being advised to self-isolate.
NHS Highland said any close contacts of positive cases “will be identified through this route”.
Dr Tim Allison, director of public health with NHS Highland, said: “NHS Highland and partners are working together to manage this community outbreak.
“Our health protection team is following up with contacts and the appropriate advice is being given to those identified.
“We would also like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that the virus can recur even in rural communities and so everyone should continue to adhere to physical distancing guidelines, wear a face-covering when in enclosed spaces, clean your hands and surfaces regularly and immediately self-isolate if you develop symptoms.”
The health authority added that there is “currently no evidence that food is a source of Covid-19, and it is very unlikely it can be transmitted through the consumption of food”.
Alan Clarke, chief executive at Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), said: “Since the start of Covid-19, QMS has worked hard with industry partners to ensure that the Scottish red meat supply chain has continued to operate when new measures, such as the introduction of social distancing in processors, were introduced.
“Millers of Speyside, like other Scottish food businesses, has whole-heartedly embraced these measures and has followed all guidelines, to isolate the spread of infection, protecting the health and wellbeing of their workforce and the local community.
“We wish those who have been infected a speedy recovery.”
Highland Council’s environmental health team are assisting in the test and protect operation and have said they will liaise with businesses with possible connections to positive cases to check Covid-19 controls which have been put in place.
NHS Highland has directed those requiring to self-isolate and in need of support towards a freephone helpline should they require assistance with food supplies or financial assistance.
The Freephone helpline is available on 0300 303 1362.
Businesses with queries on the Covid-19 guidance can contact Highland Council’s environmental health team at firstname.lastname@example.org