NHS Highland and the Highland Council are working closely together to support Home Farm independent care home in Portree during an outbreak of Covid-19.
NHS Highland’s Public Health Team are working with health and social care colleagues, as well as local community nursing teams and Portree General Practitioners to prevent any further spread of Covid-19 within the care home and to the wider community.
So far, a significant number of care home residents and staff have been confirmed positive with Covid-19.
As part of this work the Health Protection Team are carrying out enhanced monitoring of those affected.
Every member of staff who has tested positive, has been contacted and asked to self-isolate for seven days and their households contacts have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days as per national guidance.
They have also reinforced the infection control measures they need to take during this time.
Home Farm have themselves put in extra staffing during this time and an NHS Highland support team has also been made available to assist the owners of the home to provide adequate levels of care when their own staff are at home.
Dr Ken Oates, Director of Public Health at NHS Highland, said:
“There is no evidence at this stage that Covid infection has spread further into the community.
“The Assessment Centre in Portree and local GPs are not reporting an increase of cases.
“The measures that have been put in place will support us in ensuring, as best as we can, that the outbreak is as contained as possible.
“It is really important at this time that the local community continue to adhere to the government’s social distancing guidance and do not put vulnerable residents in the area, or themselves, at risk.
“The key messages are to stay at home and only leave the house for essential purposes.
“If you, or someone you live with, develops symptoms then adhere to the national advice and stay at home for seven days.
“You can contact 111 if you are concerned about your condition or your symptoms worsen.
“You will be assessed and if required you will be referred to be seen locally and tested at the Portree Covid Assessment Centre.
“In addition to that facility, a mobile testing unit is arriving in Broadford on Monday to further enhance local testing capacity.
“This can be redeployed to other parts of the island as demand necessitates.
“We will continue to support Home Farm until this outbreak is over and all those affected are no longer infectious.”
The Chief Executive of The Highland Council, Donna Manson added:
“We are working closely with NHS Highland and other partners and local elected Members in responding to this outbreak and seeking to delay the spread within the wider community of Skye.
“This is bound to be a very worrying time for residents, staff and their families and for the local community.
“The Council will continue to work closely with NHS Highland and other agencies to do everything possible to mitigate the risks to all concerned.
“Environmental Health will be providing additional support and advice locally and extra measures have been taken to protect those working from the local Humanitarian Assistance hub in Portree.
“If you need help with getting food or accessing assistance, you can phone our dedicated helpline 0300 303 1362.
“Meanwhile, everyone can do their part by staying at home and following the public health guidance to delay the spread of coronavirus and protect essential services and NHS resources.”
Essential workers can now book a test online.
Tests are available for essential workers and people in your household if anyone in the home has symptoms.
Don’t delay – tests are most effective within three days of symptoms.