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Health chief appeals to travellers after confirmation of COVID case

NHS Orkney’s contact tracing team has been activated following the detection of a COVID-19 case in the islands.

The individual concerned is registered to an address off-island — therefore the number of test-positive cases of the illness in Orkney will remain at nine.

The case was detected through testing in Orkney and the positive case will be included in the figure for the mainland board of the individual’s residence.

All those deemed to have been in contact with the person concerned have been contacted and instructed to self-isolate for 14 days, say NHS Orkney.

Interim chief executive Michael Dickson says the situation in Aberdeen, which is currently in a local lockdown after a spike in cases, was having an impact on the Northern Isles.

He said: “This is a highly contagious virus for which there is currently no cure and no vaccine.

“The situation in Aberdeen is a stark reminder that this pandemic is not over.

“While the lockdown in Orkney has been eased, every single one of us has a responsibility to be careful and to take precautions when we are out and about.”

He continued: “We currently have a very serious situation in Aberdeen and, with Orkney and Shetland’s close links to the city, we appeal to our communities to be very careful as they move around.

“Where possible avoid non-essential travel to Aberdeen until the situation is controlled.

“NHS Orkney is well prepared but we must have everyone’s cooperation to ensure the virus does not get ahead of us.”

If anyone of those contacted shows COVID-19 symptoms — a fever, a loss of taste and smell and/or a new cough — they will be tested.

Should those now in self-isolation develop symptoms within the 14 days of isolation they will be tested.

If they are positive their isolation will be extended for at least another 10 days or until they are free from symptoms.

Their contacts will then also be traced.

Mr Dickson again stressed that everyone in the community must:

  • Wash their hands with soap and water frequently.
  • Practice safe cough/sneeze hygiene (cough into the crook of your arm).
  • Wear a face covering.
  • Keep two-metres away from other people.
  • Avoid travel wherever possible.