A report issued today concluded that hospital discharges did not contribute to outbreaks in care homes, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.
Ms Sturgeon delivered the update at today’s daily coronavirus briefing as she urged people to download the Protect Scotland app – which now includes Jersey and Northern Ireland – ahead of the new tier system announcement tomorrow.
The first minister said the report concluded overall that there is “no statistical evidence that hospital discharges of any kind were associated with care home outbreaks”.
She said the independent report, commissioned by Public Health Scotland, which will be discussed more later today, made the findings about whether patients being discharged from the hospital were tested or not, there was “no statistical evidence that was a driver”.
She added that the Scottish Government is taking its findings “very seriously” adding: “Nothing in it detracts from the tragedy of the deaths that have occurred in care homes over the course of the pandemic, and nothing ever will detract from the heartbreak of those bereaved.”
When asked by members of the media if the report’s findings was the Scottish Government “washing its hands of the problem” and placing blame on care home staff, Ms Sturgeon said: “That could not be further from the truth”.
Dr Gregor Smith said detailed risk assessments of individuals would have been undertaken by clinical professionals prior to discharge.
The first minister said the guidance did not mandate routine testing up to April 21, however, she said further work and analysis will be undertaken and where the report highlights the need for additional measures, the government will act.
More information on the report and its findings are expected from Health Secretary Jeane Freeman next week.
The daily figures produced by the Scottish Government found 28 more people have died as a result of a positive Covid-19 diagnosis, with 1,202 positive tests over the past 24 hours – representing 6.8% of those tested.
The total number of deaths in Scotland has now risen to 2,754 as the overall number of positive Covid-19 case rose to 60,403.
Only the Western Isles has recorded no cases in the past 24 hours.
Ms Sturgeon said final details on the new tiered system for local areas in Scotland will be outlined tomorrow, with final preparations being put in place today.
She urged more Scots to download the Protect Scotland app as 1.5million have already done, which has identified more than 10,000 contacts of positive cases who may have not been contacted so easily had the technology not been in place.
The app has been extended to work in Northern Ireland and Jersey, and vice versa with those travelling on essential business able to still be tracked under the app in these areas.
Servers will be extended to include England and Wales next month once an update is undertaken, with hopes to also extend to include Gibraltar.
The first minister has said the app takes two minutes to download and “it does make a difference”. She has also urged those who return positive results to log their unique code into the app to ensure close contacts can be informed.
Ms Sturgeon also highlighted the risk of car sharing – revealing that in the past week more than 1,000 positive cases were found to have been in a car with others.
Ms Sturgeon sympathised with the public but called for unity to get through the pandemic after stating that we can’t just “magic Covid away” but that “we will get through it”.
She said we need to “stop it overwhelming us, stop it overwhelming our NHS and stop it taking lives if we can”.
Reminder of FACTS campaign Face coverings must be worn in shops, on public transport and in enclosed spaces Avoid crowded places Clean your hands regularly and thoroughly as well as hard surfaces before or after you have touched them Two-metre distancing Self-isolate and book a test if you have any symptoms