Tragedy has struck at a Fife care home with the deaths of 12 of its residents and a total of 51 people having tested positive for Covid-19.
The outbreak occurred at West Park Care Home in Leslie which had reported being clear throughout the pandemic until December before the virus took hold.
The facility, which provides round-the-clock care for up to 38 elderly residents and those with dementia, has been closed to new admissions with all visiting suspended.
Confirming the grim news a spokesperson for NHS Fife said: "A total of 30 residents have tested positive for the virus while a further 21 staff have also tested positive for Covid-19.
"Sadly, 12 people have died after contracting Covid-19 and our thoughts are with their loved ones at this difficult time.
"NHS Fife’s Health Protection Team and the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership are working closely with Fife Council’s Environmental Health Service to support to the management of the care home and offer advice to reduce further transmission of the virus."
Staff are said to be "devastated" at how quickly the outbreak has taken hold, with the home said to be Covid-free up until Christmas."
Commenting on the awful events, Irene Bright, the care home's managing director, said: "This recent outbreak has clearly been upsetting for everyone, though the West Park community have rallied to support the home, residents and staff.
"Many residents being cared for experienced mild symptoms but so sadly some unfortunately passed away during the outbreak and our deepest sympathies and thoughts are with the families and friends who have suffered such terrible loss.
"Families were supported to be with their loved ones where possible during their end-of-life care.
"We have been humbled by the support offered and given to ourselves from the families and friends of West Park."
She also stressed that from the outset of the pandemic staff had followed strict guidance and had implemented all recommended measures along with advised changes while a stringent weekly testing programme of all staff had been conducted.
"It was from the weekly testing that the first positive staff member was identified," she added.
"We wish to reassure everyone that all the necessary infection prevention control measures were and are still in place.
"We are working closely with Health Protection Scotland, the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership and the NHS Fife Hub co-ordination team, this being facilitated through Teams meetings and telephone calls from all these agencies offering support and advice.
"We also continue to work closely with the Care Inspectorate to whom we are reporting our progress regularly.
"The physical and mental well-being of our residents remains our priority and our staff and management are going above and beyond to support them through this difficult time."
The latest outbreak follows similar tragic events elsewhere at care facilities in Fife.
In December six people died following an outbreak at Craigie House Care Home in Crossgates, while in the same month a number of deaths were confirmed at Auchtermairnie Care Home in Kennoway after 33 people associated with the facility tested positive for Covid-19.