In line with Scottish Government guidance, NHS Fife is preparing to deliver a programme of active case-finding commencing mid-May. Led by public health, this programme will initially involve professionals contacting Fife residents whose COVID-19 tests report as positive, identifying those with whom they have been in close contact and then following up those named contacts to advise them to self-isolate. The programme will increase in scope over following weeks.
In a briefing to elected members, NHS Fife revealed plans to test all of those admitted to a care home from their own home to be be tested before or on admission to a care home, and to be cared for in isolation for 14 days subsequently.
NHS Fife also indicated that consenting staff and residents in care homes where COVID-19 is known to be present will be tested regardless of whether or not they are displaying symptoms. A mobile COVID-19 testing team is supporting the effort and providing additional testing capacity for residents and staff.
Fife Council’s chief executive, Steve Grimmond, added: “We’re working with NHS Fife Public Health to establish the council’s role in this process. The environmental health team has experience in contact tracing as part of their normal role and we’re considering options for deploying volunteers from our Team Fife pool, NHS Fife and other professionals who have volunteered in the community. NHS will provide training.”
Note: On the 6th May, National Records of Scotland released data for week 18 showing that as of the 3rd May, where coronavirus was mentioned on the death certificate, deaths in hospital, care homes and at home had reached 2795 in Scotland. Deaths in care homes now make up 59% of coronavirus deaths. As of the 6th May, there had been 143 deaths due to coronavirus in Fife.
Deaths of confirmed cases in hospital continue to rise unabated. The First Minister has indicated (7th May) that because Scotland is several weeks behind England and the R value is near 1.0, there will be no easing of the lockdown regulations for 3 weeks apart from allowing people to exercise more than once a day.