After a large increase in cases, NHS Highland has called on societies in Highland, Argyll and Bute to work much harder to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Health officials blame more than 700 coronavirus cases since Christmas Eve for pre-Christmas socializing and indoor mixing over the holidays – with an especially troubling increase in Inverness, Beauly, Dingwall, Invergordon, Alness and Caithness.
Over the past two weeks, the increase in cases has led health officials to warn citizens to comply with new national directives and not to mix with other households.
Events, deaths and hospitalizations: The region’s new coronavirus data
The NHS Highland Public Health Specialist, Dr. Ken Oates, started by thanking everyone for their efforts.
He said, “First, thank you so far for all your support. We acknowledge that 2020 has been an extremely challenging year for all and that we have all made significant sacrifices to reduce as much as possible the spread of cases of COVID-19.”
Unfortunately, in the last two weeks, particularly in Inverness, Beauly, Dingwall, Invergordon, Alness and Caithness, there has been a substantial increase in case numbers across Highland.
We think this is due to the pre-Christmas get-together, coupled with people mixing during the holidays in households. This has led to many extended family clusters, and as this pushes up infection rates, we would again advise individuals not to mix with those outside your household.
Please follow and stay home with the latest national guidelines released earlier this week.
The increasing number of cases – as well as the health and well-being of those most at risk in Highland communities – has a detrimental effect on NHS services.
“We understand how challenging this has been for many people, but as the number of cases of COVID-19 increases in our communities, we inevitably see an increase in positive cases among healthcare workers and care homes.” he said.
In Highland, Argyll and Bute, we must all take steps to protect each other and the NHS. Please continue to follow national COVID-19 recommendations, including home isolation if you feel unwell in some way, and pursue a COVID-19 examination.
If given the opportunity, COVID-19 will spread quickly, particularly with the new strain, which spreads much easier. We ask everyone to think about the risks of raising the number of individuals with whom you come into contact and obey the rules to help us minimize the spread of the virus.
This is because in the last 24 hours, Scotland has confirmed 68 more deaths from Covid 19 and more than 2,000 new cases of the disease.
A further 2,039 Scots have tested positive for coronavirus, 10.5% of those that have been tested, the latest regular figures reveal.
Official estimates revealed that, in addition to the 68 deaths, 95 people were hospitalized in intensive care with the disease – two more than the previous day.
Overall, 1,384 coronavirus patients were registered by hospitals, an increase of 37.
The data showed that all health boards in Scotland, with the exception of the NHS Western Isles, had reported new cases of the disease.