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Coronavirus / Reminder to take ‘sensible precautions’ after Covid hospital admissions

NEARLY 90 Covid cases in Shetland have been reported in government figures in the last two days – while a small number of more vulnerable people have needed to be admitted to hospital in Lerwick.

Fifty five cases were included in Wednesday’s update and 32 featured in Tuesday’s. The majority were positive lateral flow tests.

NHS Shetland’s interim director of public health Dr Susan Laidlaw said the hospital admissions, which are older people with Covid, are not unexpected due to the number of positive cases.

The recent cases are mostly vaccinated adults who are not becoming unwell, and a third are children who generally have cold symptoms or none at all.

With people needing to go to hospital with Covid, Dr Laidlaw said “we all still need to take sensible precautions to try and protect the most vulnerable people in Shetland”.

NHS Shetland added that the way contact tracing works is changing, so from now on not everyone will be phoned by a member of the local team.

“Some may be contacted by the national team and some may be contacted by text and asked to complete an online form, if they can,” the health board said.

“However, our contact tracing team or health protection team will continue to phone all those who are identified as being in a vulnerable group, or linked to high-risk settings, as well as those who aren’t able to use the online form.”

The health board also thanked people for continuing to carry out regular lateral flow tests (LFT), although a reminder has been made to read their instructions and look at the result at the right time, otherwise it may be void.

Anyone with a positive result must isolate and register the result online here, or by phoning 119. This will then kick off the contact tracing.

But anyone with Covid symptoms should not do a lateral flow test and instead request a more sensitive PCR.

“If you have already done a LFT and it is negative, you still need a PCR,” the health board added.

“But if you have done an LFT and it is positive, then you do not need to confirm with a PCR.”

PCR tests can be requested from here through the ‘Self refer for PCR Covid test’ link.

Meanwhile drop-in vaccination clinics are being held at the Gilbertson Park in Lerwick every Tuesday and Thursday from 11.30am to 6.30pm throughout February.

These are for booked appointments and walk-ins.

“Please attend for 1st, 2nd or booster doses when due, unless you have tested positive for Covid in the past four weeks (12 weeks for children unless in a risk group) or have symptoms,” a health board spokesperson said.

“We can also give the flu vaccine for those who are eligible.”

Folk are asked to use the online portal to book. Anyone with queries should contact the vaccination team on 01595 743319 or shet.vaccination-team@nhs.scot

For those children aged 5-11 who are in the high-risk category, parents are being phoned with appointments for dedicated clinics at child health.

If you have received a letter because you are immunosuppressed offering vaccine to any children in your household, contact the vaccination team as above.

NHS Shetland said Covid vaccination is the best way to reduce the risk of serious illness, especially in the most vulnerable people.