Western Isles sees largest Covid-19 outbreak so far as 80 cases linked to Lewis

NHS Western Isles has recorded its largest Covid-19 outbreak so far after 81 cases were linked to Lewis.

Friday, 19th February 2021, 8:27 pm
Western Isles Hospital.
Western Isles Hospital.

The outbreak began at the Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway but cases have spread across Lewis, leading NHS Western Isles Chief Executive Gordon Jamieson to re-christen it the “Lewis outbreak” earlier this week.

Mr Jamieson announced 70 cases on Lewis during his nightly evening broadcast on Wednesday.

NHS Western Isles has since confirmed that the total of positive tests linked to the outbreak is 81, with three cases on North Uist and one case on Benbecula having been linked to it.

The Western Isles, which like other island areas had enjoyed fewer restrictions than the mainland, was placed into Level Four at the beginning of February after a rise in cases.

A community outbreak on Barra followed by further cases elsewhere had put “significant strain” on hospital capacity in the Western Isles, the Scottish Government said.

Cases were first declared at the Western Isles Hospital at the end of January.

The Barra outbreak reached 54 cases, while an outbreak on Uist in September and October climbed to 50 cases.

The Western Isles has recorded significantly more cases of Covid-19 during the second and third waves of the virus than during the first, with just seven positive tests before September 2020.

Mr Jamieson gave an update on the Lewis outbreak on Wednesday evening.

“Today there have been three new positive cases of Covid-19 here in the Western Isles. These cases are all on Lewis,” he said.

"Whilst many people who contracted Covid-19 with the Stornoway outbreak have now thankfully recovered, tonight’s new cases bring the total to over 70 cases.

"From now on I will be referring to the outbreak as the Lewis outbreak, and I say that as there are now positive cases across Lewis.

“It is vitally important if we are to suppress and prevent further spread of the virus, that we follow the guidance and remember FACTS.”

A total of 233 positive cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the Western Isles so far.

A smaller outbreak on Lewis was recorded in November and December, with around 15 cases.