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Coronavirus / Testing and contact tracing continues in north mainland

AS SHETLAND moves into tier three restrictions today (Saturday), the local health board is continuing with its extensive programme of testing and contact tracing to get the current Covid-19 outbreak in the north mainland under control.

More local coronavirus cases are expected to be confirmed early next week when the Scottish Government’s full reporting service returns from the Christmas break.

NHS Shetland’s public health consultant Dr Susan Laidlaw urged the community to act responsibly by following the FACTS guidance.

“There has very clearly been transmission within the community, associated with a number of social activities,” she said.

“As well as extensive contact tracing and isolating cases and contacts, we are actively looking for new cases by testing asymptomatic contacts.

Public health consultant Dr Susan Laidlaw.

“Unfortunately this outbreak has resulted in a number of households and individuals who are now having to self-isolate over the holiday period, but isolation of cases and contacts is the only way we will be able to bring this outbreak under control.”

She added that is was essential to be very alert to Covid-19 symptoms.

“Even if you think it is only a cold you should stay at home, and then if it develops into a fever, a new persistent cough or a new change in loss of taste or smell you should immediately self-isolate with the rest of your household and get a test,” Dr Laidlaw said.

“We know this is really tough over the holiday period but as a community we have to keep following the rules if we want to bring this current outbreak under control and get back to enjoying some of the freedoms we had before.”

NHS Shetland’s public health team is also urging people to download the Protect Scotland app at https://www.protect.scot which would help identify contacts people may have forgotten about.

The health board added: “People are reminded that from Boxing Day, Shetland will have Level 3 restrictions applied.

“This means you cannot visit another household to socialise, amongst other restrictions. If you are unsure what you can and cannot do at this protection level please visit the Scottish Government website.”

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