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Coronavirus / Fourteen more Covid cases recorded

ANOTHER 14 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in Shetland in the last 24 hours.

This brings the current total number of cases in the current outbreak to 72.

NHS Shetland’s consultant in public health Dr Susan Laidlaw said hopefully the community had kept itself safe and stayed at home for New Year which should have an impact on the infection rate.

However, she said what remains concerning is that many of the positive cases are not presenting with symptoms, which means they have unknowingly moved around the community while infectious.

“We are hearing people say that they have had a new cough but didn’t get a test because they didn’t think it was a ‘Covid’ cough,” Dr Laidlaw said.

“Any new continuous cough should be a prompt to get a test, along with a high temperature or loss/change in taste or smell.”

She said that anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms but none of the Covid symptoms should stay at home.

“And, if you go on to develop one of the main Covid symptoms then book a test.

“We are still fighting back a wave of infections. The simplest guidance at the moment is to stay at home with your own household as far as possible and avoid meeting others as much as you can.

“If you do come into contact with others then remember FACTS.”

The majority of the infections occurred before and during the Christmas weekend when Shetland was still in level one and rules were relaxed to allow for limited socialising.

“While many people will recover from Covid, we know that it makes others very unwell and that some have long term effects, and sadly a small number do die,” Dr Laidlaw said.

“We cannot be complacent. The only way to get on top of this while we wait patiently for the rollout of the vaccination programme is for our community to work together.

“Looking after each other now means physically keeping away from each other, but staying in touch by phone and video calls.”

Dr Laidlaw said that those who are isolating because they are positive, or a contact of someone who is positive, would often receive an automatically generated text messages telling them how long to isolate.

“For cases this will depend on when their symptoms started (or when they had a test if not symptoms) and for contacts it will depend on when they last had contact with an infectious person.

“However, there are a number of people who are contacts of several others on different dates which means that they may get conflicting text messages.

“Please, always go by the latest date. So, if you get texts saying your isolation ends on January 6 and January 8, go with January 8.”