56 New #Covid Cases in Orkney

The cumulative total of Covid cases in Orkney is now at 3,944.

From 28th February to 6th March there were 518 new Covid cases in Orkney, the positivity rate was 2,312.5 per 100,000 (the Scottish average at this period was 1,110.6).

Commenting on the appalling high rate of infection in Orkney the Council’s interim Chief Executive John Mundell said:

“The widespread community transmission is undoubtedly impacting on how many of our services are run. Somewhat incredibly many continue to operate relatively unhindered, however for other service areas – despite the forward planning and contingencies in place – due to the significant levels of staff being impacted, the cracks are beginning to show, and the level of fragility widen in terms of service delivery.

“There continues to be a suspension of a number of classes within several schools across Orkney. While there are more than 200 pupils isolating due to COVID at present, the issue has arisen due to the high number of teachers being absent – 62 in total on Monday largely as a result of COVID. This situation in schools and nurseries has been ongoing for some time now and shows no sign of easing. The pressures on remaining staff can’t be underestimated.

“There are also challenges arising in our school kitchens, with a number of staff off due to COVID-related matters. It is likely that some of the smaller schools affected will be moved to a restricted menu of soup and sandwiches – however this still ensures pupils and staff have access to a hot and nutritious lunch.

“Within adult care services, two of our older people’s day care services on the Mainland are closed as staff had to be deployed to assist within residential care homes. There are further staffing challenges in adult social work and Occupational Therapy.

“We are aware of the perception among some that as long as the rising level of COVID cases does not lead to the hospital wards filling up then it’s not a problem. However, there is a much bigger picture to consider.

“Not only are our services being stretched to closure in some areas, but our colleagues within NHS Orkney have announced the suspension of planned surgeries this week given the pressures on staffing levels.

“In addition to the isolation period required, there are many who are suffering ill-effects of this virus – they may not require to be hospitalised, but they remain very unwell for sometimes long periods. When children are off due to class or school/nursery closures this also impacts on the ability of their parents and carers to do their job, which in turn affects all our services.

“It is imperative that we are all vigilant to ensure that our services are not impacted further.”

Public Health Orkney have reminded islanders:

  • People who are positive for COVID-19 should stop using LFTs from day 11-28 and resume routine testing from day 29.
  • People who are positive for COVID-19 and are part of the PCR surveillance testing programme (care home staff) should stop weekly PCR testing for 90 days.
  • Anyone who develops new symptoms who have recently been positive for COVID-19, should seek a PCR test irrespective of the time since diagnosis.

If you develop symptoms and have not yet taken a lateral flow test, a PCR test is still recommended. If you are seeking a PCR test, simply drive to the Testing Centre in Kirkwall where you will be given a self-testing kit to undertake and hand back for processing. If you’d like more information on PCR testing or cannot drive to the centre, please call 0300 303 9545 to book an appointment.

The details on when a PCR test is required are detailed on the Scot Gov website https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested/pages/covid-symptoms/.

Finally, if you fall into the clinically extremely vulnerable category and have tested positive for COVID-19, you may be eligible for antiviral medication, more information can be found here https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-covid-19-treatments within this link is also the number you can call to speak to someone here in Orkney. If you had a letter regarding antiviral medication, you should follow the instructions provided.

The stats for Scotland published on 9th March are as follows:

  • 11,957 new cases of COVID-19 reported.
  • 18 new reported deaths of people who have tested positive
  • 19 people were in intensive care yesterday with recently confirmed COVID-19
  • 1,509 people were in hospital yesterday with recently confirmed COVID-19
  • 4,439,150 people have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination, 4,164,671 have received their second dose, and 3,456,977 have received a third dose or booster


In the week 28 February to 6 March, 110 deaths were registered that mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate, an increase of 30 deaths from the previous week.

57 were male, 53 were female. 7 deaths were aged under 65, 21 were aged 65-74 and there were 82 deaths in people aged 75 or over.

Glasgow City (15 deaths), City of Edinburgh (14 deaths) and Fife (12 deaths) had the highest numbers of deaths at council level. In total, 25 (out of 32) council areas had at least one death last week.

69 deaths were in hospitals, 34 were in care homes and 7 were at home or in a non-institutional setting.

Pete Whitehouse, Director of Statistical Services, said:

“The latest figures show that last week there were 110 deaths where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. This is 30 more deaths than the previous week.

“The number of deaths from all causes registered in Scotland in this week was 1,178, which is 3% more than the five year average.”

The publication Deaths involving coronavirus (COVID-19) in Scotland is available on the NRS website.

Since the start of the outbreak:

  • 10,906 people have died who have tested positive as at 9 March
  • 13,429 deaths have been registered in Scotland where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate up to 6 March
  • 29% of COVID-19 registered deaths related to deaths in care homes, 64% were in hospitals and 7% were at home or non-institutional settings (as at 6 March)

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