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NHS Highland plea to public after sharp rise in Covid-19 test requests after schools' return


By Hector MacKenzie

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Dr Tim Allison
Dr Tim Allison

A SHARP rise in requests for Covid-19 testing since schools went back has prompted an appeal by Highland health chiefs.

NHS Highland has charted a "significant increase" in requests for coronavirus testing.

Dr Tim Allison, director of public health, is appealing to people to only book a test if they have symptoms.

Dr Allison said: “We have seen a sharp rise in the number of requests for tests since the schools have gone back, particularly from parents who have concerns about their children.Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 should be tested. You can book a test for yourself, someone you care for, or a child in your care but you only need to book a test if you have symptoms or you have been explicitly asked to get a test by our public health team.

“A test can be booked by calling 0800 028 2816 or visiting the NHS Inform website. You do not need to call NHS 24 to organise a test.”

“We have seen a sharp rise in the number of requests for tests since the schools have gone back, particularly from parents who have concerns about their children." - Dr Tim Allison

In order to be tested you should be displaying symptoms such as new, continuous cough, fever or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste. Testing should also be arranged in the first three days of symptoms appearing, although testing is effective until day five.

Dr Allison added: “If someone in your household develops symptoms you will need to self-isolate but, unless you also have symptoms, there is no need for you to be tested unless you go on to develop symptoms. If you are contacted by Test and Protect to tell you that you are a close contact of somebody with Covid-19, you do not require a test but you must isolate for 14 days. A test will not change the need to self-isolate.

“If you do develop Covid symptoms and are ill and worried about your health, you should call NHS 24 on 111. Please do not call NHS 24 unless you feel you need medical advice to deal with your illness.

“I want to thank everyone for all their hard efforts as we continue to fight this virus. There is evidence of increasing transmission of Covid-19 across Scotland. Covid19 is still here and it is important that everyone continues to follow the national guidance to keep them and others safe.”

Please follow the five rules that are highlighted in the FACTS campaign -

• Face coverings in enclosed spaces

• Avoid crowded places indoors or outdoors

• Clean your hands regularly and remember to clean hard surfaces that you might be touching

• Two-metre physical distancing remains in place

• Self-isolate and book a test if you have any of the symptoms of Covid19 - a cough, a temperature, or a loss of, or change in your sense of taste or smell

Everyone in Highland, Argyll and Bute has a role to play to keep the number of positive cases as low as possible.

News from Ross-shire



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