Slowing down in positive virus cases in Forth Valley as testing increases

The number of people testing positive for coronavirus in Forth Valley increased only slightly overnight.

By Jill Buchanan
Friday, 24th April 2020, 4:45 pm

Latest figures show that there have been 606 people testing positive, a rise of two and 83 are currently being treated in hospital.

Less than five are in intensive care – the Scottish Government does not release the figure if it is fewer than five.

The welcome news comes as NHS Forth Valley revealed it has tested more than 1300 key workers so far. This includes NHS and social care staff, care home staff, emergency services such as police and paramedics.

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A key worker being tested at the centre set up in the grounds of Bowhouse Community Centre in Grangemouth

The region currently has three drive-through testing centres in the grounds of Falkirk Community Hospital, Bowhouse Community Centre in Grangemouth and Stirling Health and Care Village.

A spokeswoman for NHS Forth Valley said staff were now carrying out around 200 tests every day.

She added: “We also now have the facility to analyse these in the labs at Forth Valley Royal meaning that we no longer have to send them to Glasgow. This is giving us a much quicker turnaround in results, usually within 24 hours.”

This week the health board announced it was carrying out mobile testing for staff in care homes. It followed media reports of some care home staff in England being expected to travel for three hours to go to a testing centre.

However, not all NHS staff are currently deemed as key workers and only those who are can currently access the testing centres by appointment.

The spokeswoman explained: “It is staff who are in roles where if they are not positive with coronavirus it is important that we get them back to work as soon as possible.

“Otherwise, staff are instructed to follow the guidelines to self isolate for seven or 14 days.”

However, this afternoon First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland was ready to introduce a new system allowing coronavirus tests for all essential workers and their families.

Yesterday, the UK government said up to 10 million key workers and their households in England could now book a test online if they had symptoms.

But a surge in demand led to technical problems with the website used for applications.

Ms Sturgeon said she was waiting for the issue to be resolved.

In England those classed as key workers who can register for a test include NHS and social care workers, police officers, teachers, those in the justice system, supermarket and food production workers, journalists and transport workers.