Uist coronavirus cluster rises to 43 positive cases as concerns are raised over car sharing

A further three people have tested positive for Covid-19 in South Uist – with fears the virus could be spreading due to people car sharing and sharing business vehicles.

Wednesday, 7th October 2020, 8:24 am
There are now 43 cases associated with the Covid-19 outbreak in South Uist, Eriskay and Benbecula.

NHS Western Isles chief executive Gordon Jamieson is also concerned that people with mild symptoms are not self-isolating straight away and taking too long to arrange a test, giving the virus time to spread to others.

Speaking on social media last night, Mr Jamieson confirmed the three new cases were all in South Uist, bringing the number of positive tests associated with that cluster to 43.

He added that the one other case in North Uist, announced at the beginning of this week, is a visitor to the island.

Chief executive Gordon Jamieson is concerned about car sharing, and people with mild symptoms failing to self-isolate abd not presenting early enough for testing.

Mr Jamieson said: “Test & Protect and contact tracing are working well and we take every opportunity to learn from each case in any outbreak about how the virus is spreading, and how we can prevent and contain any further spread.

“Some important points have emerged. We have seen spread within families, across households and within the workplace.

“Important points to remember are please do not car share across households, and please do not vehicle share in business.”

Most of the cases involved in this cluster have been with mild symptoms, which Mr Jamieson said was very good for the individuals concerned, but there are concerns others may not be taking action quickly enough.

Mr Jamieson said: “It has become clear that some people are not recognising mild symptoms as possibly Covid-19 and therefore they are presenting a bit later in terms of arranging a test for themselves and self-isolating.

“Obviously during that window of opportunity the virus will take every opportunity to spread.

“At the development of any symptoms, please self-isolate immediately and make arrangements for a test.

“If we can pull together and learn from these points, and carry on with everything we are doing just now in terms of precautions, we can contain and control and suppress this virus.”

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

• A high temperature (37.8C of greater)

• And/or a new and continuous cough

• And/or a loss or change in your sense of smell and/or taste.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you and your household should should immediately self isolate and book a test. To access testing in the Western Isles, contact the Covid-19 Response Team on 01851 601151 or email [email protected] The phoneline will be staffed from 9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, with an answering machine available outwith those hours.

Alternatively you can complete the online Covid-19 Testing Programme Referral Form (NHS Western Isles)

FACTS

F – Face coverings. These should be used in shops and on public transport (buses, trains and taxis)

A – Avoid crowded places.

C – Clean your hands frequently, using water & soap whenever possible.

T – Two metres – observe physical distancing.

S – Self-isolate and book a test if you are suffering from COVID-19 symptoms.