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Visitor restrictions easing at care home

A CARE centre in Shetland that closed to visitors and stopped its day care service due to an outbreak of the winter vomiting bug norovirus is easing back restrictions.

North Haven care centre in Brae stopped its day care service and restricted visitors last week on advice from NHS Shetland’s public health unit.

Shetland Islands Council said on Wednesday morning that the norovirus outbreak at North Haven appeared to be diminishing and restrictions on visitors were being eased.

A spokeswoman said: “Advice was received from NHS Shetland’s public health unit and visiting was restricted at the centre.

“Staff were also affected, but all essential work continued and those clients who were affected were isolated while they were ill.”

She said that the provision of day care remains suspended until the end of this week, when it will be reviewed.

However public health director Dr Sarah Taylor said the islands had not been as badly affected by the virus as the rest of Scotland, where last week reports suggested one in five people had picked it up and hospitals were forced to close wards.

She added that the bout of coughs and colds that appear to have been widespread throughout Shetland during the festive season were no worse than expected at this time of year.

“We have been as busy as we expected to be. We have seen a number of different bugs around, and more respiratory bugs, but we always do at this time of year,” she said.

Taylor advised people to stay at home and look after themselves if they were ill, and be very good about washing their hands if they had contracted or wanted to avoid the norovirus. She also asked people to look out for elderly neighbours.

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