UPDATE: New outbreak of Covid-19 on Lewis stands at 12 positive cases.
A new Covid outbreak on Lewis has given serious cause for concern locally, as it affected Stornoway Primary last week and now the public transport network.
According to figures released by NHS Western Isles the latest outbreak now has 12 confirmed cases of Covid-19, and a ‘substantial’ number of people who are having to self-isolate as a result of Test & Protect.
And it is this quarantine of so many people which has forced the council to close Stornoway Bus Station, and suspend all public transport service on Lewis and Harris for the weekend.
A spokesman for the Comhairle said: A number of positive cases and the resulting Test and Protect self-isolation measures has resulted in a significant reduction in the available bus driver pool in both Bus na Comhairle and the private service providers. In these challenging circumstances, the difficult decision to suspend services was the only appropriate option.”
The current total number of tests carried out is 8767, with 180 positive cases this year. The total number of positive cases since the start of the pandemic is 260 (last updated 05/03/21).
Following a confirmed case of Covid-19 linked to Stornoway Primary, the nursery and the school closed on Thursday and Friday last week for a deep clean to take place. This has now taken place and normal service is expected to resume on Monday.
Regular updates will be provided on our own and the Comhairle’s social media feeds.
NHS Western Isles are reminding everyone of FACTS:
Face coverings in enclosed spaces
Avoid crowded places
Clean your hands and surfaces regularly
Two-metre social distancing
Self-isolate and book a test if you develop coronavirus symptoms.
In the absence of public transport, caution should be used if car sharing.
A spokeswoman said: “ We are aware that, with the current disruption affecting the bus service in Lewis and Harris, some individuals from different households may have to car share.
Car sharing with someone from outwith your household does present a risk of spreading COVID-19 - however if you have no other option than to car share with others, we would encourage you to follow the following safety measures:
1. Limit the number of people in the vehicle - the fewer, the better;
2. Wash your hands (or hand sanitise) before entering and after leaving the vehicle;
3. Maintain good ventilation and open windows for the duration of the journey;
4. Sit as far apart as possible, and avoid sitting face to face or side by side (preferably one person driving and one in the back);
5. Wear a face mask or face covering for the duration of the journey. Do not pull it down or remove it to have conversations. Ensure it is covering your mouth and nose and is not loose on your face. Avoid touching the face mask/covering, and dispose of disposable masks/replace your face covering after the journey.
6. Ensure you cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow or into a tissue, and dispose of the tissue in a bin after leaving the vehicle;
7. Wipe down surfaces that people touch (e.g. door handles) before entering the car and after the journey; and
8. If there is no other alternative but to car share, take steps where possible to share with the same individual/s each time.
DO NOT CAR SHARE IF YOU, OR ANYONE IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD OR EXTENDED HOUSEHOLD, HAS SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19.
Self isolate and book a test immediately.