Skye nursing home worker positive for Covid-19 for a second time

A new case of coronavirus has been linked to the Home Farm Nursing Home in Skye.

The news that a staff member had tested positive for a second time was confirmed by local MP Ian Blackford.

Ten residents died at the nursing home after a major outbreak of the virus was detected there at the end of April.

The Free Press understands all residents and staff at the home are to be re-tested as a precautionary measure today.

The interim chief medical officer Gregor Smith was questioned about re-infection at today’s Scottish Government coronavirus daily briefing.

He said that he could not comment on the individual case, but added that the global evidence was that re-infection is “not a phenomenon we would recognise”.

Dr Smith added that viral fragments can still be picked up in tests many weeks after the initial infection, and these highlighted the challenges which surrounds the testing process.

Skye councillor John Gordon, whose father died at the home after testing positive for Covid-19, said he was concerned families had found out about the new test via social media.

He said: “Our thoughts are with families, residents, and staff who yet again have had to read about this on social media which has caused them more distress. 

“I can’t understand why a protocol has not been put in place to contact families before it’s in the media, and why management is not informing staff,  despite assurances from NHS Highland and HC-One (operators of the home) that this is happening.

“Regular precautionary testing should be happening as a matter of course.

“It’s a worrying time.”

Mr Blackford said: “It has been confirmed to me that one of the staff members at Home Farm who had previously tested positive for Covid-19, recovered and was tested negative twice has tested positive again.

“The staff member concerned was re-rested on Sunday and received confirmation last night that they were positive.

“It is important to stress that when someone does test positive having previously had Covid-19 that they may not necessarily be infectious. Clearly however we cannot take any risks.”

Mr Blackford said the results of the re-tests at Home Farm must be known ahead of the court hearing tomorrow.”

He added: “I felt it important that the public were aware of this development but I do acknowledge the work that is on going to deliver effective infection control at Home farm,

“I am sure that all in the community will want to offer full support to the residents, their families and all staff at what has been a distressing time for all.”