THERE have been five new cases of Covid in Shetland over the last 24 hours after the first case in five weeks was confirmed on Monday.
Figures just published by the Scottish Government show that the total number of cases in the isles has now risen to 219.
NHS Shetland confirmed that all new cases are linked to the case that was associated to Mossbank Primary School which was first identified on Sunday.
Consultant in public health Dr Susan Laidlaw said those involved did not have symptoms but were picked up because NHS Shetland was now routinely testing all people identified as contacts of confirmed cases as per new national guidance that was introduced in February.
“These new cases have been contact-traced and any new contacts have been asked to isolate and will be tested. They will be required to continue isolating, even if they test negative, in case they are still incubating the virus,” she said.
“I am not surprised that we have some more people testing positive for Covid in Shetland. We have been fortunate not to have seen new cases for several weeks, but it was inevitable that there would be more at this stage of the pandemic.
“And, with the introduction of asymptomatic testing of contacts, the numbers are bound to be higher than we have seen before around individual cases.”
She added: “Even though we are doing really well with the vaccination programme, with over 57 per cent of adults having had their first vaccine, the vaccine takes a few weeks to work and is not 100 per cent effective.
“So, we have to be patient and continue with the current restrictions until we have even higher population vaccination coverage that we know is enough to really impact on the pandemic.”
The health board is urging local people to continue adhering to the FACTS guidelines such as wear facemasks when required, wash hands, avoid crowds and keep two metres away from people outside one’s own household.
“This virus spreads very easily but everyone in the community can help it stop spreading by following the guidance,” Dr Laidlaw said.
“But, it is crucially important that anyone who has any of the Covid symptoms, however mild, immediately isolates with their household and request a test.
“Isolation and targeted testing are effective in containing the spread of the virus when combined with the other precautions.”
Anyone with symptoms can self-refer for a Covid test by filling in the form on the NHS Shetland website.
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