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Coronavirus / Total confirms Covid-19 case at gas plant

NHS Shetland is treating it as a positive case despite follow-up test returning negative

Shetland Gas Plant. Photo: Shetland News

THE OPERATOR of the Shetland Gas Plant has confirmed that a member of its workforce was referred to NHS Shetland after a test at the site suggested he had Covid-19.

The local health board confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that Shetland had its first new case since 20 April.

However, following the on-site test at the gas plant, a further test carried out by NHS Shetland returned negative. The man affected is local and is not someone who has flown in.

A spokesman for operator Total said on Thursday morning: “A member of the Shetland Gas Plant workforce was referred to NHS for testing after a test at site suggested they had Covid-19. The NHS test has returned negative.

“Nevertheless we have asked the person involved to isolate at their home in Shetland.

“Total tests everyone who works at the gas plant, both personnel who fly in from the mainland and those who live locally.

“Our track and trace system allows us to screen the workforce and quickly isolate anyone who has come into contact with the infection. We are also working closely with NHS Shetland and Public Health Scotland to protect the health of our workforce.”

NHS Shetland said there was no discussion as to whether or not this should be regarded as a new case of Covid-19.

“It is confirmed and contact tracing is under way,” a spokeswoman said.

Speaking during a Facebook live video from NHS Shetland chief executive Michael Dickson on Wednesday night, public health consultant Dr Susan Laidlaw explained: “Someone can test positive one day, and then test negative the next day and vice versa.

“The test only tells you if you have virus in nose/throat at the time the swab is taken. Most people will only have it there for a few days, for some it might be much less, and for others far longer.”

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