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breaking news

NHS Orkney launches widespread testing as 40 self-isolate

Around 40 folk across the county are in self-isolation, this evening, as NHS Orkney moves to subdue a “growing” COVID-19 situation.

In a statement issued tonight, Tuesday, the health authority shared concerns for anyone who has visited a pub in Kirkwall during the past week.

According to NHS Orkney, if you have been in a Kirkwall pub since June 14 you may have inadvertently come into contact with someone who has subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. It is believed the main risk of infection relates to those who are younger and may not have had both doses of the COVID vaccinations — but NHS Orkney has urged everyone to be aware of developing symptoms.

For this reason, the health authority is inviting those who have been in pubs in Kirkwall to come forward and book a PCR COVID-19 test.

This is to give public health staff the best chance of identifying those who may have inadvertently picked up virus but who are not showing symptoms.

Should you have symptoms including a new cough, temperature and loss of taste and smell, you should immediately self isolate and book a PCR test.

NHS Orkney has said that anyone who is concerned but who hasn’t been in these venues can continue to use lateral flow tests.

An NHSO spokeswoman said: “We encourage people to log their results, and should they test positive or have symptoms book a PCR test.

“These tests are available at some pharmacies, from the COVID Assessment Centre and can be ordered online.

“There are currently around 40 people in Orkney who are self-isolating because they are contacts of COVID positive cases.”

Meanwhile, NHS Orkney consultant in public health, Sara Lewis, has said that while this number is expected to grow as more people are identified as contacts linked to the current cluster, the situation can be contained with public co-operation.

“We are asking our community to think carefully before they head into situations or go to places where there are crowds,” she said.
“So far there are six known cases linked to the cluster.
“This can be contained if we all work together. Staying out of crowded situations is the best thing you can do to protect yourself right now. Also wear a face covering when you are out and wash your hands regularly.”

To book a PCR test, you can contact the COVID Assessment Centre on 01856 888 211.

Lateral flow tests can be ordered online and usually arrive by post within two days on www.nhsinform.scot

In Orkney, these home tests can also be picked up from WHB Sutherland and Boots in Kirkwall.