Covid-19 spreading across Borders as new outbreaks confirmed

Borders health chiefs have confirmed that the region is dealing with “a number of outbreaks” of Covid-19, including cases associated with the Borders General Hospital in Melrose and home care services.

Tuesday, 3rd November 2020, 3:47 pm
The Borders General Hospital at Melrose. Photograph: Bill McBurnie
The Borders General Hospital at Melrose. Photograph: Bill McBurnie

NHS Borders’ Health Protection team, supported by Scottish Borders Council and SB Cares, is currently managing several outbreaks of the virus across the Borders.

A joint statement issued by NHS Borders and Scottish Borders Council this afternoon said that one outbreak is “a small number of cases” associated with Borders General Hospital and home care services in the Greenlaw area.

A further five cases of the virus linked to the outbreak based around Jedburgh have also been confirmed, bringing the total number of confirmed cases there to 26. The new cases are linked to transmission within families where there has been existing Covid-19 cases.

An additional positive case has also been recorded in a resident at Deanfield Care Home in Hawick, bringing the number of people with a positive test in that outbreak to seven residents and one member of staff. Visiting to Deanfield has been suspended.

Incident management teams have been deployed to manage these outbreaks and offer support and advice to the people affected and their families.

Dr Tim Paterson, director of Public Health for the Borders, said: “These outbreaks demonstrate that in common with all mainland health board areas across Scotland, we continue to see an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in the Borders on a daily basis.

“If you or someone you live with is self-isolating you should follow the guidance on the NHS Inform website carefully.

“Self-isolation means you should remain at home and shouldn’t go to work, school, public areas or use public transport. You shouldn’t go out to buy food or other essentials. You must stay at home and follow the physical distancing and hygiene advice for coronavirus.”

Jen Holland, chief operating officer of SB Cares, said: “We continue to support all our clients across the Scottish Borders and communicate regularly with affected clients and their families.

“SB Cares provides care to hundreds of people every single day through both our home care and residential care services.

“While we have implemented all infection control measures, over and above national guidance, there is always a risk of this highly contagious virus spreading, especially where any of our staff or clients are asymptomatic.

“I would like to thank all our clients, their families and of course our staff for their ongoing co-operation and support at such a challenging time for health and social care services, not just here in the Scottish Borders but across the country.”