Rennie Willie

LibDem leader Willie Rennie had questions for the FM about testing.

By Bill Heaney

LibDem leader Willie Rennie is concerned that new residents with the virus are being admitted to care homes, which are full of vulnerable people.

He told the Holyrood leaders’ virtual meeting today: “I think that we should be testing all potential new residents of care homes, and they should not enter if they test positive for the virus.

“This morning, one care home owner said to me that a test of all potential new residents is the most important test that we can do. First Minister, why can we not test all potential new residents of care homes?”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon replied however: “If somebody has been in hospital because they have had the virus, they will be tested before leaving the hospital to make sure that they test negative—that is in cases in which somebody has had the virus.

“If somebody is admitted to a care home today who shows no symptoms of Covid-19 and who tests negative, that does not mean that they will not show symptoms of the virus tomorrow, because they could be in the incubation period. Testing has a part to play, but it must be part of a properly risk-assessed approach.

It must be part of an approach that also prioritises prevention, infection and control. Whatever the test status of somebody who is going into a care home, the guidance on isolation and the wider guidance on infection prevention must be followed.

“That is the most important thing to do. Yes, we must use testing where it is appropriate, but we must not allow testing, given its limitations, to give us false assurance that somebody going into a care home does not have the virus, when it might just be that they are in the incubation period and it does not show on a test.”

Leave a Reply