More than a dozen residents at a Lanarkshire care home have died after a suspected COVID-19 outbreak.

A total of 13 people at the Burlington Court care home in Stepps, North Lanarkshire, have died in the past seven days.

Their families have been told the deaths could possibly be linked to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

None of the patients had been tested for Covid-19 as they were not admitted to hospital but their families have been informed of a possible association with the virus.

All of the residents who died had underlying health conditions.

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Two staff members at the home are in separate hospitals being treated for coronavirus after testing positive.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon reacted to the news on Twitter on Saturday afternoon.

She said: My thoughts are with all the residents of the Burlington Court Care home and especially with the families of those who have died there or elsewhere with COVID-19.

"We are working hard to control this virus and will offer all the support we can to this and other care homes."

She added: "I am thinking too of the staff of this and all care homes - they are doing a necessary but very tough job and I am so grateful to each and every one."

A spokeswoman for Four Seasons Health Care, which operates the 90-bed home, said: “With deep sadness, we can confirm that 13 residents at Burlington Care Home have passed away over the past seven days.

“Our condolences are with their families and we are providing them with our ongoing support during this difficult time. The passing of a loved one is always traumatic irrespective of the circumstances.

“Within the home, the focus of the team continues to be the ongoing care and protection of all our residents and our colleagues, two of whom are currently being treated for coronavirus.

“Our strict protocols on infectious diseases are in place, including social distancing, and we are closely monitoring the health of the other residents and colleagues.

“In these exceptional circumstances, we are sincerely grateful for the dedication of our colleagues and can assure our residents and their families that we are putting all our resources and energy into supporting and protecting everyone in our homes.”

The home is liaising with public health officials and the Care Inspectorate.

A Care Inspectorate spokesman said: “We are aware of the tragic death of residents at this care home as a result of Covid-19.

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“Our thoughts are with the loved ones of those affected as well as the staff and wider community of the home.

“We have been notified of the circumstances and we are in contact with the care service and the local health and social care partnership during this difficult time.

“All of Scotland’s social care sector is working under very difficult circumstances to care for people during the pandemic and the Care Inspectorate is doing all it can to support them.”