Today, 13th of August, it was confirmed that there were 3 new cases of Covid19 in Orkney. The figure of people infected with the virus in Orkney is higher than this. The official Orkney number appears low because some of those who tested positive are residents in other NHS areas. This means that their test is not published under the Orkney figures but in the NHS Board where they reside.
In Scotland as a whole there were 47 new cases of Covid19 and 26 of these are in the Grampian Health Board area. Many will be related to the Aberdeen cluster. Research is underway to determine whether the Orkney cases are also linked to Aberdeen.
It has been known for some time that although the official cases in Orkney had remained low, up until now, it was understood that the virus was present in the community.
Schools returning, hospitality opening up and people moving about more has meant that it is more important than ever to observe the precautions of FACTS.
- Face coverings in enclosed spaces
- Avoid crowded places.
- Clean your hands and hard surfaces regularly.
- 2 metre distancing remains the overall rule.
- and Self isolate, and book a test, if you have symptoms.
In Orkney an incident management team is reacting quickly to the outbreak with Test and Protect. Community tracers will be contacting people they feel it is necessary to.
The R number in Scotland also went up this week . This is the rate of infection, i.e. how many people could one person infect and then it multiplies as that second person can then infect others.
Since the 26th of July, a total of 300 cases have been identified in the Grampian Health Board area.182 of these are associated with the same cluster linked to Aberdeen pubs, and 961 contacts have now been identified from those 182 cases. It was no surprise that Orkney would also see some positive cases given the links with Aberdeen. What is concerning is that in a small island population where many residents are vulnerable, that it appears to be spreading very quickly.
It is really important that people should avoid being complacent but also that they should not spread fear and alarm.
Test and Protect is activated. People are being contacted who may be linked to positive cases. If we all observe the simple rules to protect ourselves and others it will work to limit the spread in Orkney.
If someone is feeling unwell and has the following symptons:
- a high temperature or fever
- a new continuous cough
- a loss of, or change in sense of smell or taste
You can do a simple online check here: Coronavirus (Covid19) Self Help Guide
➡️ self isolate immediately
➡️ you should not visit or call your GP instead
☎all immediately to book a test on 01856 888 211 between 09:30-17:30 Monday-FridayC
If you have any concerns, require health advice or any further information please visit www.nhsinform.scot in the first instance or contact NHS 24 by calling 111 or if you live in the Isles contact your local GP or Nurse.
If you have to self isolate and need support for essential shopping, medications or any other need and you have no family or friends who can help – support is available.
And what is crucial is that we look out for each other. The best way we can do this is by adhering to the guidance and keeping our distance.
No one wants Orkney to be put back into a local lockdown as happened in Aberdeen. It is, therefore, up to all of us to do what we can as individuals to protect ourselves and others.
Reporter: Fiona Grahame