SHETLAND recorded seven more Covid-19 cases on Friday, according to official Scottish Government statistics.
The isles’ seven-day rate per 100,000 people now stands at 262 in the week up to 31 August.
That reflects a much higher prevalence of Covid-19 than in Orkney (76 per 100,000) and the Western Isles (174 per 100,000), but remains far below levels seen throughout local authority areas on the Scottish mainland.
More than 60 cases have been recorded in Shetland in the past week, resulting in disruption to education at Scalloway and other schools and the closure of Shetland Library.
On Friday it was confirmed that positive cases had also disrupted the filming schedule for the latest series of BBC crime drama Shetland, with the production team saying it will continue to follow strict guidelines to ensure people’s safety.
NHS Shetland said some of the cases were household contacts and others were related to travel.
Interim director of public health Dr Susan Laidlaw said: “As you can imagine the local lab team are extremely busy at the moment and we appreciate everyone’s patience.
“Given the number of PCR tests that are currently coming through the lab we are now asking more people to undertake self-swabs which are sent to a UK Government lab.
“We will ask people to come to the testing pod in Lerwick and do the swab in their car – this is what happens in many testing centres south. For those who are unable to come to a pod, a PCR swab kit will be delivered to them to do at home.
“People who are high priority and clinically at risk will continue to receive a test carried out by the swabbing team, as before.
“We’d also like to remind the public that we are continuing to work extremely closely with the SIC and are monitoring the situation in the education settings.”
She added that it remained important for everyone to “continue with good hand hygiene, ensuring face coverings are worn and keeping good ventilation if meeting up indoors”.
On Friday Scotland as a whole recorded 6,711 cases, with 10 more deaths registered. In Glasgow and Lanarkshire over 1,000 cases per 100,000 – one per cent of the population – have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past week.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has not ruled out reimposing some Covid-19 restrictions if the number of cases and hospitalisations continues to increase.
Meanwhile, Shetland’s Liberal Democrat MSP Beatrice Wishart says she is “deeply concerned” by this week’s announcement that people attending large public events and nightclubs will be asked for proof that they are vaccinated against Covid-19.
Sturgeon announced the plans, which are subject to parliamentary approval, on Wednesday.
But Wishart said the notion of a government-controlled app holding individuals’ details should “worry us all”.
“A passport or your freedom should not be your choice during a pandemic,” she said. “The Scottish Government can do more to encourage more people to get the Covid-19 vaccine and to take measures to ensure the health of everyone.”
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