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Coronavirus / Council reminds community about help available for those self-isolating

PEOPLE self-isolating have been reminded that help is at hand, such as access to food and medicine or support with finances.

More information is available from the local support hub, which can be accessed online or via 0800 030 8780.

NHS Shetland confirmed on Monday that more than 120 people have been asked to self-isolate amid a growing number of confirmed Covid cases in the isles.

Shetland Islands Council chief executive Maggie Sandison said: “This is a really difficult time for us all, and particularly for those who now find themselves having to self-isolate.

“I’d encourage anyone who feels they may need some help to get in touch with the Support Hub.

SIC chief executive Maggie Sandison pictured in February.SIC chief executive Maggie Sandison. Photo: Shetland News

“All of us need to take real care as this situation develops.  It is extremely important that we all play our part in limiting the spread of the virus.

“Traditionally, Hogmanay is a time for meeting with friends and family, but it is clear that we need to observe the rules and stay at home as much as possible.

“This is particularly important for those of us who were shielding during the first lockdown, and who may face a higher risk if they develop the virus.

“Please do observe the Tier 3 rules, take care of yourself and your loved ones, and do all you can to help our community.”

A number of businesses, meanwhile, have been affected by the spike in cases.

The Golden Coach restaurant in Lerwick has closed for number of days after a member of staff tested positive, leading to colleagues having to self-isolate.

Busta House Hotel, meanwhile, said in an update on Monday that two households who have tested positive sat in for dinner there on 19 December.

It comes after the business said on Facebook that all staff were tested on 23 December, with “two households from the hotel” having confirmed cases.

A number of other businesses in Shetland have also proactively decided not to open this week due to the rise in cases.

NHS Shetland chief executive Michael Dickson also said on Monday that “it is easy to blame people but we need to put our energy into keeping ourselves and each other safe”.

“If we can’t get ahead of this spread then we will without doubt move to level 4 with the additional restrictions that will bring,” he said.

“Remember how we all behaved way back in March and stick with it, keep socially distant, wash your hands, no indoor meet ups, wear a face covering in shops and public transport, stay local and absolutely no house parties or social gatherings.

“I cannot stress how serious this is right now with over 120 people isolating due to potential exposure to the virus.”