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NHS Highland chiefs confirm that daily coronavirus surge is connected to Covid-19 outbreak at the Faslane naval base in Argyll & Bute

By Philip Murray

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The naval base at Faslane.
The naval base at Faslane.

A JUMP in Covid-19 cases in the NHS Highland area is linked to an outbreak at the Royal Navy's Faslane naval base, health bosses have finally confirmed.

The health board area – which covers Highland Council as well as Argyll & Bute – reported 98 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours.

The figure was a marked increase on the 16 reported in the previous 24 hour period – and shattered records in the region for the most positive tests recorded in a single day.

Hours after the NHS Highland figure was released to the public, the Royal Navy announced that "a number" of its personnel had tested positive at the Faslane base in Argyll and Bute.

No specific total was announced, but the record-breaking nature of the daily update sparked speculation that the naval outbreak was responsible for many cases.

The director of public health at NHS Highland, Dr Tim Allison, has now been reported as confirming this to be the case.

Stressing that the Faslane cases were "contained" he stated: "We understand that there are many interactions between this establishment and the local community.

"However, we would wish to emphasise that while there have been a small number of cases over recent months in people who work on the site and live locally, there are no cases in the wider community directly linked to this current outbreak.

"We also recognise that, over the last few weeks, the Helensburgh and Lomond locality has had a higher rate of infection than the rest of Argyll and Bute and we have been monitoring this closely."

Related news: Record Covid increase as NHS Highland detects 98 new cases

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