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breaking news

Over 200 Orkney COVID cases since Christmas Eve

More than 200 Orkney folk have tested positive for COVID-19 since Christmas Eve, Scottish Government figures have revealed this Wednesday afternoon.

The news came as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon addressed parliament, which was recalled virtually for an update on the pandemic. Record numbers of the virus have been racked up across Scotland, over the festive weekend, including more than 15,000 new cases nationwide during the past 24 hours.

While Ms Sturgeon has said that there will be no immediate changes to restrictions as they stand, she has urged the public to exercise caution during the Hogmanay and New Year period, and into January.

She told MSPs that it was likely that current restrictions on hospitality, including seating only rules in pubs, would remain in place until at least January 17.

Responding to the release of figures, this afternoon, a spokeswoman from NHS Orkney said: “We are seeing a trend of higher case numbers which aligns with the rest of the nation. We are seeing an increase in the proportion of cases which have the omicron variant marker, and it is likely that the case numbers will rise further.

“We are continuing to urge the community to follow the latest guidance around keeping safe this festive season. The positive cases we are seeing are mainly related to family gatherings, extended family household clusters and travel. Please limit, if possible, the number of contacts you have to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

 “If you require a PCR test, you can simply drive to the Covid Testing Centre in Kirkwall, no appointment needed or if necessary (i.e., you don’t/can’t drive), you can phone 0300 303 9545 for further assistance.”

You can check the festive opening hours for the Covid Testing Centre on https://www.ohb.scot.nhs.uk/news/festive-timetable-covid-testing-centre-and-kirkwall-vaccination-centre-21-december-2021.

More to follow.