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Over 1000 coronavirus cases in Highlands in a week

By Gordon Calder

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A NORTH public health consultant has urged people to be vigilant after over 1000 Covid-19 cases were detected across the Highlands in a week.

The figure is expected to rise, according to NHS Highland consultant, Dr Jenny Wares, who said there was over 1000 cases between August 16 and 22, in the week schools went back after the summer break.

Over 1000 coronavirus cases have been detected in Highland schools in a week.
Over 1000 coronavirus cases have been detected in Highland schools in a week.

She said: "There is no single situation driving the numbers up and we are experiencing sustained community transmission. Covid-19 is spreading very rapidly and the impact on families, local schools and businesses remains significant. While Covid-19 is circulating at such high levels, we would advise you try to minimise your contact with others as much as possible to limit further spread within our communities.

"It is so important that we remain vigilant for symptoms. The typical symptoms are a new continuous cough, a high temperature or fever and a loss of, or change in, normal taste or smell. However, people with Covid-19 can present with a wide range of symptoms including headache, sore muscles and joints, tiredness, sore throat, cold-like symptoms and diarrhoea and vomiting. Anyone that becomes unwell should isolate immediately and book a PCR test."

Details on how to book a PCR test are available on NHS Inform. Free, fast and regular testing is also available for people who do not have symptoms. Around one in three people do not show symptoms, so can spread the virus to others without knowing. Regular testing helps find positive cases in people who have no symptoms, but who are still infectious. Everyone in Scotland can do this test twice a week.

Dr Wares added: "Since moving beyond level 0 the Scottish Government guidance for the management of Covid-19 cases in schools and childcare settings has changed with close contacts in these settings not routinely asked to isolate. However, if there is evidence of Covid-19 transmission within the class, additional actions such as PCR testing and self-isolation may be advised to try to control the outbreak.

"This change is being closely monitored for the first few weeks of pupils returning to the classroom."

Nicky Grant, executive chief officer for education and learning in Highland said: "The Highland Council continues to work in partnership with NHS Highland’s health protection team to manage a number of Covid-19 outbreaks in school settings. It is vital that parents/carers and pupils take protective measures set out for schools and follow the advice from the health protection team on receiving any letters about local cases. Online learning or home learning material will be available for those who are isolating but, otherwise, remain well."

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