Five people have died following an outbreak of coronavirus at a care home in Dumfries.
All five were residents at Charnwood Lodge on Annan Road.
Community Integrated Care, the charity which runs the home, said it took immediate action by conducting a full decontamination and “implementing a number of additional robust infection control measures”.
It said it was now working closely with Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership to support residents and families.
Martin McGuigan, managing director at Community Integrated Care, said: “As soon as the outbreak developed, we took immediate action. We conducted a full decontamination of the home and implemented a number of additional robust infection control measures.
“It is, however, with great sadness that we have lost five people we support as a result of the virus and our hearts go out to their loved ones, as well as our colleagues.
“We have been astounded by the incredible efforts and professionalism of the entire staff team who have done their utmost to support residents, families and each other through this incredibly challenging time.
“We will continue to work closely with the local authority and public health teams to ensure that we are taking all necessary steps to protect everyone within the home and provide the practical and emotional support needed.”
Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership, which involves the NHS, the council and the third and independent sectors, urged everyone to do their part to limit the spread of the virus.
A partnership spokesman said: “This has been proving a very difficult and concerning situation, but we would note the dedication of Community Integrated Care and their staff at Charnwood Lodge in their response.
“Work was undertaken to contain the spread of Covid-19, and this has not been an easy task against this highly infectious virus.
“This outbreak has again demonstrated just how highly transmissible the Covid-19 virus is, even when the correct protocols are being observed.
“Covid-19 can result in mild symptoms, and sometimes none at all. This can mask its spread to more vulnerable individuals where it can pose a very significant risk.
“Following the guidance around the use of PPE (including face coverings), around physical distancing and good hygiene remains absolutely vital in reducing risk – but these are by no means an absolute guarantee of protection.
“These tools are quite simply the best measures which currently exist to help reduce the risk as much as possible, and help limit the spread of the coronavirus.”
MSP Joan McAlpine, who represents the area in Holyrood, released a statement on social media on Tuesday night.
She said: “I have just received a briefing from Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership about the outbreak of Covid-19 at Charnwood Lodge Care home in Dumfries.
“Sadly it informs us that five people have now died at the home, in circumstances where COVID-19 was present.
“My deepest condolences go to their loved ones and it goes without saying that I stand ready as one of your local MSPs with any assistance I can offer.
“Community Integrated Care, the charity who run the home, are working closely with DGSCP to support residents and their families.
“The partnership have paid tribute to the dedication of the charity and its staff at a terribly difficult time and says the outbreak demonstrates “how highly transmissible the COVID-19 virus is.
“This is awful news and shows how important it is that we suppress this terrible virus. I am contacting the health and social care partnership for more details.”
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