Covid outbreak in Western Isles is ‘over’ says health board

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Health chiefs in the Western Isles say the islands’ first major outbreak of Covid-19 is now officially over.

As it is now more than 14 days since the confirmation of the last positive case of Covid-19 infection associated with South Uist, Eriskay and Benbecula, NHS Western Isles says it considers that this outbreak has come to an end.

This has been the first major outbreak in the Western Isles with more than 50 people infected and more than 280 people asked to self-isolate as contacts. It also saw the death of a resident in the Sacred Heart Care Home in Daliburgh, on South Uist during this time.

The care home will continue with its restrictions on admissions, discharges and visiting for a further two weeks.

NHS Western isles commented: ‘Although most people who contracted the infection were not especially unwell and were able to recover in their own homes, some required medical assistance or hospitalisation, so we are very aware that this virus is not only very infectious but also can cause significant problems to some people. There are also the additional long-term unknown risks associated with ‘long Covid’.

‘We ask people across the Western Isles to continue to observe the Covid-19 restrictions that remain in place around households, not getting together or visiting in each other’s homes yet, limiting travel, and avoiding car sharing where possible; alongside the personal behaviours of physical distancing, washing your hands and wearing face coverings in public areas.

‘We would also ask that people who need to travel for essential reasons to and from the mainland to be extra vigilant for symptoms – notably the characteristic ones for Covid-19 infection: of fever, or new continuous cough, or loss or change in sense of taste or smell.

‘Other symptoms that people with Covid-19 infection can show are severe headache, aching bones or gastro-intestinal upset.  If you are in doubt, then please self-isolate at home with your household and seek a test.’