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Coronavirus / More Covid cases added to local tally

The NHS said it is recommended people aged over 12 carry out two lateral flow tests a week

MORE confirmed cases of Covid have been reported in Shetland, bringing the total during the past week to 61.

A further eight were reported today (Monday), following six at the weekend.

NHS Shetland interim director of public health Dr Susan Laidlaw said recently these have all been household or very close contacts of existing cases.

“We expect the numbers to remain at a similar level as new infections are introduced through travel,” she said.

“But, for most people, especially children and those who are vaccinated, any symptoms are generally mild, although some have a flu-like illness.”

Dr Laidlaw reminded the community to use lateral flow tests (LFTs) for routine testing when people have symptoms.

“It is recommended that people aged 12 and over, do a test twice a week. Many people do this for their work anyway and secondary school pupils are encouraged to do them,” she said.

While routine twice-weekly testing is not recommended for under 12s, LFTs may be helpful on occasion if a child develops other symptoms, like a runny nose. Or, if they have been a contact of a confirmed case but had an initial negative PCR.

Anyone who has a positive LFT must isolate with their household, and also log the result online as per the instructions with the kit.

“If you test positive with an LFT then you should request a PCR test to confirm the result – very occasionally we get a ‘false positive ‘ LFT result,” Dr Laidlaw said.

“When you log a positive LFT result, or request the PCR, you will be phoned by the contact tracing team and they will start contact tracing while awaiting the PCR result.

“However, if anyone, adult or child, develops any of the four main symptoms of Covid (cough or fever or loss/change in sense of taste or sense of smell) you should not rely on a LFT but immediately book a PCR (and isolate with your household),” Dr Laidlaw said.

“This is because these symptoms are more likely to appear with Covid, but sometimes the LFT may be negative, even if you have Covid.”

Due to the high number of calls and requests for PCR tests, people are advised to ask for one online.