Jeane Freeman has said residents of Skye’s coronavirus-stricken Home Farm Care Home have been isolated, Army-run testing is being done and contacts are being traced.
Medical assessments led by the local GP and advanced nurse practitioner are being carried out and the Care Inspectorate was expected to make its first visit, the Health Secretary said.
At the Scottish Government’s daily coronavirus briefing, Ms Freeman said her “best thoughts and good wishes” were with staff and residents at the Portree home.
It was revealed at the weekend 28 of the home’s 34 residents have returned positive Covid-19 tests along with half of its 52-strong workforce.
He also added there were now 27 confirmed cases among the staff.
“Assessments have been carried out and mixed discipline support team is in place and the Care Inspectorate will, I expect, undertake their first visit to that care home today,” the Health Secretary said. “In addition, the mobile testing unit is in place and contact tracing is in hand.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urged care homes to observe coronavirus guidance as she acknowledged the “hard reality” that the virus was “difficult” to stop in such circumstances.
It is a hard reality, but nevertheless the reality, that regardless of what we do there will be an extent to which the virus is difficult to stop in these kinds of settings.”
Ms Sturgeon said the virus was “particularly tough” for older people and spread “more aggressively” in places like care homes.
“It is a hard reality, but nevertheless the reality, that regardless of what we do there will be an extent to which the virus is difficult to stop in these kinds of settings. That’s why suppressing it completely is what needs to be our principal objective,” the first minister said.
The first minister added that the guidance the Scottish Government had issued on social distancing, PPE and self-isolation had to be “implemented rigorously” in care homes.
Ms Freeman claimed public health directors were co-ordinating responses in care homes. Of the people who had volunteered to help fight the virus, just under 3,000 had social care experience.
Of those, 234 had been deployed with another 305 about to enter the fray. Ms Freeman added that testing had been stepped up and the Scottish Government had helped top up PPE supplies.