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Cases of coronavirus reported in previously unaffected areas in the Highlands as numbers rise


By Val Sweeney

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Dr Tim Allison, director of public health for NHS Highland.
Dr Tim Allison, director of public health for NHS Highland.

Health bosses in the Highlands have warned of a rapid rise in cases of Covid-19 across the region with more than 100 cases now notified on a daily basis.

In June alone, there were over 1300 cases – about one-fifth of NHS Highland’s total number of cases since the start of the pandemic.

The health authority said Covid-19 is spreading much more rapidly in communities as a result of the Delta variant and it is seeing cases in areas which were previously unaffected.

It said the rise in cases is impacting on the most vulnerable and there are now outbreaks of Covid-19 in care homes.

It comes as Raigmore Hospital in Inverness has been put code black status following an increase in admissions while non-urgent surgery has been cancelled and many staff forced to self-isolate.

Dr Tim Allison, NHS Highland’s director of public health, said: "While the contact tracers are working incredibly hard, the very high case numbers means that it is taking longer for us to contact cases.

"If you have tested positive, you will receive an email with a form to complete.

"While rates are so high, we would be very grateful if you could fill this in and return this to the Health Protection Team.

"Early experience has demonstrated that we can double the number of cases that can be contact traced per day by doing this and are asking for your help with this.

"We have already highlighted the impact the increase in case numbers is having on services and it is vitally important that people complete their forms to help in our efforts to contact trace across Highland, Argyll and Bute.

"We would also like to thank the public for everything they are doing to try to reduce the spread within their local communities and would urge caution with rising rates of Covid-19."

Given the increase in cases, and community outbreaks across Highland and Argyll and Bute, people are being urged to continue following FACTS guidance – wear a face mask, avoid crowded spaces, clean your hands regularly, maintain two metres distance from others, self-isolate and book a test if you develop symptoms.

People are also being urged to remain vigilant for symptoms.

Although the typical symptoms of Covid-19 are a new continuous cough, a high temperature or fever and a loss of, or change in, normal taste or smell (anosmia) some people experience other symptoms including headache, sore muscles and joints, tiredness, sore throat, cold-like symptoms and diarrhoea and vomiting.

If you or anyone in your family becomes unwell, then you should isolate immediately and seek a PCR test by booking an appointment through NHS Inform online or by calling 0800 028 2816.

Related story: Raigmore Hospital at capacity


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