Dead viral cells could explain Skye care worker’s second positive Covid result

The Skye nursing home worker who has tested positive for Covid-19 for a second time, did so after a precautionary test carried out on Sunday.

The Free Press has spoken to the Home Farm worker, who said they had attended hospital after feeling tightness in their chest and a nose-bleed.

The precautionary swab detected coronavirus.

The worker said they had been told it was possible the swab had picked up “dead viral cells”, lingering from the previous infection.

The worker first tested positive for Covid-19 on the 28th of April.

After being off work isolating and recovering from the virus, the care worker had been back at the home for three weeks, during which they returned two negative tests.

The worker is now isolating again, and said they had experienced some coughing and slight breathlessness since the fresh positive test.

In a statement NHS Highland said: “Evidence is emerging internationally about Covid-19 and it is now recognised that some people have prolonged positive swab results and others can have intermittent negative and positive results over many weeks.

“An ongoing positive result does not therefore mean they are still infectious or that they pose a risk to others.

“This is the most likely scenario here.

“Nonetheless and as a precaution this person has been advised to remain at home and in isolation.

“Their close contacts are being followed up by the contact tracing process and will be given the standard advice regarding isolation and effective hygiene.

“In addition and as a further precaution NHS Highland is in the process of re-testing all staff and residents of the care home.

“We will inform all residents, staff and relatives of the results as soon as they are available.

“There are no other cases of confirmed Covid-19 infection in the local community or on the rest of Skye.”