Nursing home workers ignore social distancing rules during parking lot dance and sing with DJs

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A nursing home came under fire after staff risked spreading the coronavirus to vulnerable residents by dancing together and sharing a microphone while visiting a pub DJ.

Staff flouted the two-meter social distance rule when Andy Cumming was brought in to entertain residents at a Clap For Our Carers event.

The images show workers without PPE equipment sitting together while performing a dance.

Staff can also be seen swinging their arms outside the entrance to the Carnbroe Care Center in Coatbridge.



Staff dance closely together

The incident was reported to the NHS Lanarkshire health protection team by watchdogs from the Care Inspectorate, who “vigorously tightened up” guidelines on coronaviruses with home management.

Infectious disease expert Professor Hugh Pennington criticized the event.

In the 33-minute video, Cumming, regularly booked to entertain pub punters, is seen leaning over the staff and putting a microphone to their mouths, encouraging them to sing Petula Clark hit Sailor.

Pennington said high noise increases the risk of Covid-19 entering the home and that singing into a shared microphone “greatly increases the likelihood” of transmitting the virus.

Professor Emeritus of Bacteriology at the University of Aberdeen added: “One of the ways the virus gets into a nursing home is the staff who take it.

“They can infect residents in the course of their normal daily work without realizing what has happened because they have no symptoms.

“The proximity of the staff has largely flouted the rules of social distancing between individuals, and singing – with its vigorous expulsion of breath from the mouth – considerably increases the probability of transmission of the virus. In a sense, they are breaking the rules, they should not be as close to each other.

“Singing is a risk factor for transmitting the virus. “



Prof Hugh Pennington

Figures from the National Records of Scotland show that there have been 1,623 deaths from coronavirus in nursing homes – 46 percent of all deaths from the deadly virus in Scotland.

Official statistics show that 651 – 60% – of the adult nursing homes have reported at least one suspected case of Covid-19 to the Care Inspectorate since the start of the epidemic.

Miles Briggs MSP, the Scottish Conservative secretary of state for health, said: “Even if the intentions behind this were good, it was clearly a terrible decision.

“Keeping this deadly infection out of nursing homes is difficult enough.

“The fact that strangers mingle so closely with staff will only increase the chances of Covid-19 spreading around the house.”

After the April 24 performance, the Carnbroe Care Center used Facebook to thank the family of a resident for hosting the event.

He wrote: “Another big thank you for organizing DJ Andy Cumming to make it happen last night for residents and nursing home staff.

“Everyone had a great evening and I cannot thank you enough for your gesture. “

The home, which is owned by Alpha Care Management Services, provides nursing care to up to 74 elderly residents and people with dementia.



Carnbroe care home

A spokesperson said the facility was unaffected by Covid-19 and that none of its employees or residents were infected with the disease.

He added: “Our priority is always the well-being of our residents and providing them with the best possible care experience.

“We have organized a number of social events to allow residents to have fun during an extremely difficult time for everyone.

“The event in question was promptly organized by the family of a resident and took place in the car park of the house.

“We recognize that the appropriate social distancing measures and the use of PPE – followed with vigilance within the confines of the home since we introduced them before the publication of government directives – have not been fully implemented on this occasion.”

Cumming said, “I’m sorry if any rules were broken, although the microphones have always been wiped with sterilizers.

“I felt like the caregivers were working closely together at home, so there wouldn’t be much of a problem.

“I didn’t know that some people had filmed it on their phones.

“No PPE advice was given and, after you informed me, I admit that the whole thing was irresponsible. “

A Scottish government spokesperson said: “We recognize that the measures in place can be frustrating for people, but they are absolutely necessary to stop the spread of the virus, protect the vulnerable and save lives.

“Gatherings are discouraged unless people are members of the same household or when it is essential for professional purposes, and physical distance measures must be observed at all times.”

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Coronavirus in Scotland

A spokesperson for the Nursing Inspectorate added, “We are in contact with this nursing home and have discussed it with management.

“We have vigorously reinforced the need for physical distance and continued vigilance to keep residents safe, and have noted that the problem has also been reported to colleagues in public health.”

The North Lanarkshire Council has confirmed that they are aware of the video and have discussed it with the Care Inspectorate.

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