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Coronavirus / New Covid case recorded

A NEW confirmed case of coronavirus has been recorded in Shetland which is linked to travel and “other cases on the UK mainland”.

NHS Shetland Interim director of public health Dr Susan Laidlaw said because the Delta variant was now widespread in Scotland, NHS Shetland was being “rigorous” in identifying and isolating contacts as a precaution.

“What the new case showed was that even though Shetland had great vaccination uptake rates, and restrictions would be dropping to Level 0 at the weekend, Covid had not gone away and people were still at risk,” Dr Laidlaw said.

“We know it is difficult and everyone is really fed up with the pandemic, but if anyone has any Covid symptoms, however mild, then please self-isolate with your household and request a PCR test, even if you have been vaccinated.”

The announcement comes after this Saturday’s (5 June) Manson Cup football fixture between Whalsay and Ness was postponed, with several players said to be self-isolating.

Dr Laidlaw also stressed that it was “especially important” that people did not travel if they have even the mildest of symptoms.

The contact tracing team was now identifying and contacting people who may have been exposed to the virus.

This involved explaining to the person who was being called that they would need to take a test and/or isolate, and what support there was to help them.

“The community in Shetland has been really supportive and compliant with contact tracing which has helped to prevent and control outbreaks before.

Although the last thing anyone wants to do is isolate now that everything is opening up more, please do co-operate with the tracers’ questions and instructions if you are contacted.”

“It is really important that you help our team to identify other people who may be at risk.”

Dr Laidlaw said that while Shetland had good vaccination coverage, the programme had not yet been completed and Shetland could still be at risk of an outbreak “like we saw at Christmas”.

The community is vulnerable now as restrictions are relaxed with increased socialising, NHS Shetland said.

“But with rigorous contact tracing, increased testing and isolation, combined with our high vaccination uptake, we are in a good position to contain the virus and limit spread within the community,” Dr Laidlaw added.

Anyone with Covid symptoms should immediately isolate with their household and request a PCR test by visiting this link.