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Coronavirus / Twenty one new Covid cases

NHS Shetland says at the moment there are no patients in hospital admitted with respiratory illness due to Covid

A TOTAL of 21 new Covid cases have been reported in Shetland.

There have been 86 positive tests in the past week, and NHS Shetland said many adult cases are linked to a single social event.

The health board said it is likely that high numbers of cases will continue over the next few days at least, as all the contacts of the new cases are tested.

It added that at Thursday afternoon there were no patients admitted to hospital with respiratory illness due to Covid.

NHS Shetland’s interim director of public health Dr Susan Laidlaw said: “As people are socialising more indoors, especially in the run up to Christmas, there is always going to be the risk of the virus spreading in these settings.

“Although most people are not very unwell, we know there is considerable disruption caused by isolation, contact tracing and testing. It does not look like there will be any changes to isolation rules, or to contact tracing and testing until next year so we need to live with that. I know it is frustrating, but there is still a considerable risk to people who are vulnerable and not yet fully vaccinated.

“This includes vulnerable children who cannot be vaccinated, and older adults and those with underlying conditions who have not yet had their booster dose. We know that the vaccine prevents serious illness, hospitalisation, and death, but the effectiveness of the vaccine does reduce over time.

“This is why we are working really hard to deliver the boosters as fast as we can to maintain the protection, and have already given nearly two thirds of those aged 50 or over a booster dose or third dose.”

“Regular lateral flow testing helps to identify people who are infectious but have no symptoms. It is recommended to do this twice a week for those aged 12 and over, and as required for those aged under 12. You can also take an LFT before going to an event. Although a negative test does not mean you are ‘Covid free’, it means you are unlikely to be very infectious.”

NHS Shetland said it is important that lateral flow tests are only undertaken when you do not have any Covid symptoms.

“You should also register all LFT results, especially if positive, on the online portal. This allows the contact tracing and testing staff to contact people and organise PCR tests more quickly.”

The online portal can be found here. For anyone who has Covid symptoms or has had a positive LFT, isolate immediately and book a PCR test. This can be request via this link.