Published by Public Health Scotland, 6th April 2023, is the weekly National Respiratory and Covid-19 Surveillance Report.
Changes in PCR testing guidance has reduced the numbers of tests available for sequencing compared to earlier in the pandemic.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published their final COVID-19 Infection Survey report on 24 March 2023. The last update for waste water analysis in Orkney was on 10th of March 2023
These were all ways of tracking Covid in the community.
The purpose of COVID-19 testing has now shifted from population-wide testing to reduce transmission, to targeted, symptomatic testing in clinical care settings which has led to a reduction in the quantity and quality of available testing data. In the week ending 02 April 2023, there were 2,130 reported positive COVID-19 cases (compared to 2,750 in week ending 26 March 2023).
COVID-19 hospital admissions is a measure of severe disease and captures pressures facing NHS hospitals.
In the latest week ending 02 April 2023, there were 388 new COVID-19 admissions to hospital. Hospital admissions for the most recent week are provisional and should be treated with caution. At the time of publication there were no data available for one NHS Health Board, and the previous week’s figures have been rolled forward.
There were 35 COVID-19 admissions (3.5%) per 1,000 emergency admissions. In the same week, the 80+ age group had the highest rate of COVID-19 admissions (6.2%) and the 18- 29 age group had the lowest rate (0.6%).
Between 26 February 2023 and 26 March 2023, the median LOS (length of stay in all age groups was 3.5 days. The 80+ age group had the longest median LOS at 5.3 days, while the Under 18 age group had the shortest at 0.6 days.
The number of COVID-19 patients in hospital is an indicative measure of the pressure on hospitals, as these patients still require isolation from other patients for infection control purposes.
There were 1,299 patients in hospital with COVID-19 which is a 1.8% decrease from the previous week ending 26 March 2023, when on average there were 1,323 patients.
There were 11 new admissions to ICU, a decrease of 2 from the previous week (26 March 2023) when there were 13 admissions. There were on average 205 patients in ICU, of which 6.8% (14 patients) had a positive SARS-CoV-2 result.
COVID-19 is a highly infectious respiratory infection.
This spring, COVID-19 booster vaccinations will be offered to those who are eligible:
- residents in care homes for older adults
- adults aged 75 years and over (or will turn 75 by 30 June 2023)
- people aged 5 years and over with a weakened immune system
Learn more about this year’s spring vaccination programme on NHS inform (external website).
Meanwhile… a Covid outbreak in the Balfour (as reported today by The Orcadian https://www.orcadian.co.uk/visiting-restricted-in-balfour-ward/).
If there was still continued routine testing… and if there actually were still isolation protocols followed… then this should not happen at all.
With the still high levels of infections around, it would be a sensible approach to routinely test all patients upon hospital admission (not only symptomatic cases), isolate carriers and keep a mask mandate in health care settings.
All of those are measures which have worked in the past, are relatively easy to re-implement (particularly in such small island hospitals), do not cost much and so forth.
They should not have been abandoned prematurely!
Week before last – in just one day – we heard of three people we know, in Orkney, having Covid.
And yet – most people are carrying on as though it’s gone.
At the moment – Mike and I both need to regularly visit the Balfour – where the rules are still being followed – but I feel nervous about going there.
There should be no need to feel nervous – if everyone paid attention to the F.A.C.T.S.