Coronavirus / Source of Covid cases at hospital remains unclear, health board says

THE SOURCE of the coronavirus cases among staff in the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick has yet to be identified, NHS Shetland says.

The health board says it is now started to test other staff on the ward as a precautionary measure.

A second staff member at the hospital was confirmed to have Covid-19 today (Tuesday).

It followed confirmation at the weekend that a staff member had tested positive for the virus.

Shetland News asked a series of questions to NHS Shetland around the cases but the health board has so far declined to say exactly how many staff were currently in self-isolation.

However, the health board said earlier on Tuesday in a press release that agency staff were being drafted in and that services could be affected in the future.

Director of nursing and acute services Kathleen Carolan told Shetland News: “In line with the Public Health Scotland guidance to suppress the spread of Covid in a hospital setting we have tested and isolated staff as well as undertaken contract tracing with staff and community contacts (e.g. family).


“The wards are following the required cleaning regimes, and this has been checked by our infection control team.

“We haven’t found any further positive cases from the group of staff who have been self-isolating since 30 October.

“We have, as a precautionary measure, also started to test other staff on the ward because we have not identified where the original chain of transmission started.

“We are now waiting to see what the results are of further staff testing and we will continue to follow the outbreak management plan.

“At this time, the reduction in staff is not impacting directly on the services we can provide in the hospital, but we are reviewing this.”

A patient with Covid-19 was confirmed to have been in the hospital in mid-to-late October.

NHS Shetland said today that all the necessary controls are in place including “strict guidance regarding the wearing of, and safe donning and doffing of PPE”.

Carolan said “we do not believe there is an increased risk to patients in the hospital”.

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