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Coronavirus / Covid still circulating widely, health chief warns

HEALTH officials have again appealed to the wider public to continue taking “sensible precautions” as Covid numbers in Shetland and across Scotland remain high.

The warning comes on the second anniversary of the first national lockdown, as a further 61 cases were added to NHS Shetland’s tally over the last 24 hours. On Tuesday there were 76 cases.

Interim director of public health Dr Susan Laidlaw said case numbers have reduced since peaking last month.

In February a total of 2,152 Covid cases and two deaths were recorded; this month there have been 1,326 cases so far including second and third infections.

Covid is clearly still circulating widely in the community and everyone is urged to continue to take sensible precautions to avoid or slow down the spread where possible,” Dr Laidlaw said.

“This includes wearing face coverings where required, hand hygiene, good ventilation, regular LFD testing, if no symptoms and PCR testing, if symptoms develop.

“Please be aware that close contact with large numbers of people will increase the risk of spreading Covid.

“At the present time, anyone who tests positive is still expected to isolate even if they are not unwell which can cause significant disruption. Contacts should also take precautions, including isolation if they are unvaccinated.”

She added: “Even though the risk of serious illness, hospitalisation and death due to Covid has reduced considerably, mainly due to vaccination, there are still vulnerable people at greater risk.

“A further round of booster vaccinations for these groups has just started with the aim of increasing protection.”

NHS Shetland’s vaccination team is currently delivering the spring booster to high risks groups, and it is also running clinics for children aged 5-11.

There are also drop-ins at the Gilbertson Park games hall on 24, 29 and 31 March between the usual times of 11.30am-6.30pm.

Anyone aged 12 or over can go along to these clinics for their first, second or booster dose.

More information on the vaccine including the intervals that need to be left between doses can be found here.

The vaccination team can be contacted on 01595 743319 or shet.vacccination-team@nhs.scot

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