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Coronavirus / ‘Very small’ number of Covid hospital admissions, NHS chief says

Covid is continuing to circulate in the community

ONLY a “very small number” of people in Shetland are requiring hospital admission despite an apparent rise in the number of Covid cases in the isles, according to NHS Shetland’s chief executive.

Michael Dickson said the success of the vaccination programme is continuing to lessen the impact of the virus.

He also said that since the start of the pandemic Shetland has had 45 instances of people needing admission to hospital with Covid.

Speaking in a Facebook live broadcast on Wednesday, Dickson said the incidence of Covid in the UK has continued to rise as new subvariants of Omicron – BA.4 and BA.5 – take hold.

In Shetland he said people are still testing using stockpiled lateral flow tests, and reporting their results too.

Dickson said the health board appreciates local people doing this, even though the guidance does not require it.

He said anecdotally there were reports of lots of people having to stay at home in Shetland because they have been unwell.

Dickson added that he himself caught Covid after travelling to Brighton earlier this month.

Meanwhile Shetland North councillor Tom Morton took to social media to encourage all elected members to wear face coverings if they are attending meetings in person.

It comes after he himself contracted Covid and suffered from a number of symptoms.

There is no requirement to wear face coverings in public buildings, but the Scottish Government strongly recommends doing so.

In a blog post Morton added: “Signs are that we are facing a major wave of infection now in Shetland and Scotland and the Scottish Government is looking at restrictions being brought back. Omicron is slithering under your door.

“I decide that for the foreseeable future, all my council duties will be conducted via Teams or widely spaced and heavily masked. No public buildings unmasked.”

Dickson also reiterated the advice to stay at home if feeling unwell, the importance of hand hygiene and wearing a face covering if you feel the need to.