Patients contacted after nurse tests positive for Covid

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Lorn & Islands Hospital has launched an investigation after a nurse tested positive for Covid-19 during routine staff screening.

NHS Highland says a small number of patients who the staff member – who wore PPE while working – had been caring for have now been contacted as ‘a precautionary measure’.

The incident triggered an immediate investigation and started standard procedures to keep patients and staff safe.

A spokesperson for NHS Highland confirmed: ‘A member of staff employed and working in Lorn & Islands Hospital in Oban has tested positive for Covid-19.  This was picked up during routine staff screening.

‘We have immediately investigated and initiated standard procedures for monitoring and managing the incident to ensure the safety of patients and staff.

‘The member of staff concerned wore PPE while working and this will have protected others.

‘A small number of patients, who the staff member had been caring for, have been informed of the situation purely as a precautionary measure.’

Usual infection control precautions are continuing across the hospital with all patients, visitors and staff who come into the hospital expected to wear face masks and clean their hands regularly with soap and water or alcohol gel.

Detailed Covid figures now available on a neighbourhood basis from Public Health Scotland via the Scottish Government website show 10  new cases of the virus were recorded in the Benderloch Trail area from October 11 to October 17, an area that also covers the communities of Taynuilt, Appin, Connel and Lismore.

During those same seven days in  Oban North, Oban South and Mull, Iona, Coll and Tiree those three areas each confirmed between one and four new cases while Loch Awe had none to report. To protect patient confidentiality where a neighbourhood has less than five new cases, the exact number is not being given.

There have been no further confirmed cases of Covid-19 at Oban High School  since one pupil tested positive at the start of this month

Until very recently, only council and NHS authority wide figures were being made public.

Councillor Kieron Green, chairman of Argyll and Bute’s healthcare watchdog – the Integration Joint Board –  last month urged officials at NHS Highland and the Argyll and Bute Health and Social Partnership (HSCP) to provide more detailed breakdowns.

The Oban North and Lorn councillor this week welcomed the change to give out cases by neighbourhoods and said it would help people better understand what was happening on their own doorstep.

He added: ‘It will really help people understand where there have been cases and see that Covid is still a risk and can happen in isolated areas and rural communities, serving as a reminder that people need to be compliant with the rules.’

Commenting on the confirmed case of a worker at Lorn & Islands Hospital, Councillor Green said, ‘Isolated cases of Covid are to be expected’, and that was why routine testing in health settings and the government’s test and protect system were so important in the fight against coronavirus.

To get the very latest local data go to, go to the local area data and click on the interactive dashboard.

On Tuesday First Minister Nicola Sturgeon explained the likely timetable for the roll out of Scotland’s new coronavirus restrictions.

New ‘tiered levels of intervention’ have been drawn up and will be published in a strategic ‘draft’ framework document today, October 22, or Friday, she said before the heavyweight document goes before MSPs next week to be debated and voted on.

Providing it wins approval across the SNP-controlled chamber, the new tiered system across Scotland would then be effective from Monday, November 2

Restrictions in England under Tier 1 means people must not meet in groups larger than six, indoors or outdoors, while pubs, bars and restaurants must close at 10pm. Under the Tier 2 restrictions, people cannot meet with anyone they do not live with indoors unless they are part of a support bubble, while the rule of six applies for socialising outside. Tier 3, the most severe level of restrictions, means people cannot socialise with anyone outside their household in any indoor and many outdoor settings. Pubs and bars are forced to close unless they can operate as a restaurant.

A mass flu clinic held at the Corran Halls for patients from the Lorn Medical Centre inoculated more than 1,700 people in its first week earlier this month with other sessions planned yesterday, today (Thursday October 22) and tomorrow, Friday October 23.

With flu symptoms similar to the coronavirus, the clinics are part of a national drive to make sure more people than ever receive the jab to help limit the impact on NHS services this winter.