Covid third wave has hit care homes, warns Scottish Labour

'The third wave of Covid has now undeniably reached our care homes,' said Scottish Labour’s Covid recovery spokeswoman Jackie Baillie.

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The third wave of coronavirus has reached Scotland’s care homes, Scottish Labour has said, pointing to rising numbers of facilities with suspected cases.

The percentage of homes with potential outbreaks has tripled since early June.

Figures for this week showed there were 59 adult care homes with confirmed or suspected cases, making up 6% of all facilities.

At the height of the second wave in January, there were 180 homes with potential outbreaks – 17% of all care facilities.

Scottish Labour’s Covid recovery spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said there should be no complacency around the rising infections.

She said: “The third wave of Covid has now undeniably reached our care homes.

“The way care home residents have been failed time and time again during this pandemic is nothing short of a national scandal. We cannot let history repeat itself.

“The vaccine is doing a fantastic job of preventing another full-scale catastrophe, but there is still no room for complacency.

“The SNP need to learn from their mistakes and act quickly to deal with this growing crisis before the virus is completely out of control in our care system once again.”

The Scottish Government said they were actively monitoring the situation and the most recent weekly data showed a decline in cases among residents and staff.

Social Care Minister Kevin Stewart said: “Our commitment to protecting our care homes from Covid-19 is precisely why care home residents and staff were first in the queue to get vaccinated.

“At the start of the vaccination programme there were 641 residents of care homes who had tested positive for Covid-19, thanks to the vaccines and the efforts of care home staff in the most recent week this had reduced to 27 cases.

“Contrary to the claim, in the last week actual Covid-19 cases among residents and staff have, in fact, fallen by 15%.

“There is no room for complacency and we all must continue to be vigilant and follow the protective measures we have in place in care homes including rigorous infection prevention and control, testing, and enhanced local multi-disciplinary oversight teams.

“This is especially important when levels of Covid-19 in the community are at high levels.”