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'Help us to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in our communities,' say NHS and council

By David G Scott

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This week, the Scottish Government confirmed that the Highland region will again be placed into protection level one of the government’s five tier framework.

This means communities will continue to able to operate with fewer restrictions on hospitality, retail and leisure sectors than other parts of the country.

Council leader Margaret Davidson.
Council leader Margaret Davidson.

While island authorities are now permitted to have some social interaction in homes, this is still not yet permitted in Highland.

The generally good levels of compliance in Highland and good partnership working between Highland organisations to provide support, deliver advice, and maintain Covid-19 safety controls in public spaces and businesses has led to comparatively low numbers of positive Covid-19 cases and outbreaks across the region.

However, Covid-19 still remains in our communities and "we must work together to prevent further spread of the virus", reads a council brief.

It further states: "An increase of cases in our communities not only risks the lives of our residents but also risks us all facing stricter controls if we were to move into higher tiers of the Scottish Government’s framework."

Highland Council leader, councillor Margaret Davidson, said: “I want to begin by thanking the vast majority of our residents in Highland who have been following the restrictions in place. Your ongoing perseverance during this pandemic will help us to protect our most vulnerable family members, friends, colleagues, and neighbours.

“Being placed in a lower tier and facing fewer restrictions, it can be very easy to find ourselves becoming complacent. We understand that lower numbers of cases in our community can allow you to feel safer in your day to day activities and that is good progress. But, we must also continue to do our part by following the guidance and keeping the infection rates low by physical distancing, practicing good hand and respiratory hygiene and wear face coverings [unless medically exempt].”

“I am hopeful that if we continue to be careful and patient now, then we can look forward to enjoying more freedoms over the festive period and seeing our loved ones again. It must be our cherished goal to enter 2021 with greater hopes for our health and local economy.”

Dr Tim Allison, NHS Highland's director of public health, said: "We are optimistic about prospects for a vaccine but we all need to keep following precautions to give us the best chance of tackling Covid effectively."

Public Health Scotland dashboard shows Covid-19 in Thurso neighbourhoods

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