SHETLAND reported one more Covid-19 case on Thursday – taking the number of cases to 13 in the past week.
It is the first recorded case since Tuesday following a cluster of cases mostly in the North Mainland area last weekend, which resulted in some Mossbank school pupils being asked to stay at home.
But the islands remain one of the least-affected parts of the country. A seven-day average of 57 cases per 100,000 gives Shetland the third-lowest level of infections of any local authority area after Orkney and the Western Isles.
Scotland as a whole registered a record 2,999 positive test results on Thursday, superseding Wednesday’s previous all-time high.
Local public health officials have warned that with the easing of restrictions and travel from the mainland now permitted comes the potential for the virus to spread more widely.
So far the current wave of Covid-19 has not resulted in the same level of hospitalisations and deaths as earlier waves of the pandemic, which scientists attribute to the strong protection offered by vaccination against the virus.
But earlier this week Nicola Sturgeon announced a delay in the timetable for the rest of the country to move to Level 0 and said the removal of measures such as physical distancing would not happen before August.
In the Scottish Parliament on Thursday, Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart questioned Sturgeon over measures to protect island communities from the spread of Covid-19 as domestic travellers visit the islands over the summer.
The Liberal Democrat pointed out the seven-day average of cases more than trebled between 23 May and 23 June, and urged travellers to take a Covid-19 test prior to travelling.
Wishart said: “Cases of Covid-19 are again increasing across Scotland. The vaccination programme continues to reduce the number of deaths and hospitalisations but even with both doses you can still transmit the virus.
“I look forward to welcoming visitors on ‘staycations’ to Shetland. It will good for hospitality and the associated sectors, but we must do this in the safest way possible.
“Testing is a really easy way to break Covid-19 transmission. Free test kits are available to everyone in Scotland and I would urge anyone to test before they travel.”
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