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Orkney records 10 new COVID cases

There have been 10 new COVID cases recorded in the county over the past 24 hours, according to an update from NHS Orkney.

The health authority says these cases include an extended family cluster and some individuals with links to travel.

As more information emerges on the new Omicron variant NHS Orkney would like to remind the community to continue following the guidance.

Twice weekly lateral flow tests when you are showing no symptoms are vital to ensuring we can keep ourselves safe and identify positive cases as early as possible.

Additionally, if you are travelling back to Orkney from anywhere abroad, please follow the latest regulations regarding PCR tests and self-isolation. Lateral flow tests before leaving the islands and returning are still encouraged by the Scottish Government.

If you do develop any COVID symptoms or have a positive lateral flow test, self isolate with your household immediately and seek a PCR test. As a reminder, booking is not required for PCR tests in Orkney, you can just drive to the COVID Testing Centre (Old Balfour) and you will be instructed from there on the next steps. If you do require support for COVID testing or can’t drive to the centre, please call 0300 303 9545.

Dr Louise Wilson, director of public health stressed “Now is the not time to become complacent, as we enter into another winter and festive period. We are all keen to celebrate with our friends, families and colleagues but we must continue to follow the precautions in place, for example taking regular lateral flow tests before meeting up with others out with your household.

“If you have a whole business or team attending an event together that has poor ventilation or not big enough for safe distancing, then remember you may all be considered close contacts and required to isolate if one member of the group develops COVID symptoms. Please ensure you have contingency plans in place if this were to happen. Once again we would like to thank the community for continuing to follow the guidance and keeping our community as safe as we can.”

As a reminder, a negative lateral flow test or PCR test only indicates that you do not have COVID when tested, if you continue to feel unwell please do not attend parties or visit lots of households. You may be in the incubation period and simply not showing up as positive quite yet.

For anyone yet to receive a first or second COVID vaccination, please call 0300 303 5313. For those who are due their booster vaccines, please keep an eye out on the post for your letters which should be arriving soon. NHS Orkney’s vaccination team are working tirelessly and are holding clinics over the weekends to ensure we are vaccinating all those eligible, as quickly as possible.