Easter Ross Covid-19 clusters spark calls for coronavirus vigilance; Highland health chief: 'It is vital families adhere to guidance and should not be meeting other households indoors'
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A SPATE of Covid-19 cases in Easter Ross linked to three large community clusters has resulted in a number of premises being closed and prompted fresh calls yesterday for vigilance.
NHS Highland confirmed "an emerging situation in the Easter Ross area" with over 40 Covid-19 cases logged in the past couple of weeks.
It said: "The majority of these cases are linked to three large community clusters which are largely the result of transmission within household members and their extended family and friends."
Its health protection team has followed-up in line with national guidance and contact tracing carried out with identified close contacts advised to self-isolate.
It said: "Unfortunately, a number of local premises have been affected, some of which have closed as a result. Highland Council’s environmental health department and the Health and Safety Executive are working closely with affected premises."
It did not state which had been affected.
"We all must be vigilant in the times we are living in. Everybody must follow the procedures that have been put down to protect the safety of all of us."- Cllr Alasdair Rhind
Director of public health Dr Tim Allison said: “Everyone should continue to adhere to physical distancing guidelines, wear a face-covering when in enclosed spaces, clean your hands and surfaces regularly and immediately self-isolate if you develop symptoms. It is vital that families continue to adhere to the guidance and should not be meeting other households indoors."
Anyone unwell "should isolate immediately and must not attend school or work". Those with Covid-19 symptoms should be tested. Tests can be booked by calling 0800 028 2816.
Tain and Easter Ross councillor Alasdair Rhind said: "Highland Council and the other authorities have taken good care of the situation that has arisen. It's unfortunate that it did arise. It has caused knock-on effects to one or two businesses, which isn't good."
He added: "We all must be vigilant in the times we are living in. Everybody must follow the procedures that have been put down to protect the safety of all of us."
Twenty pupils at Tain Royal Academy had been asked to self-isolate after a pupil tested positive. Those without symptoms are due to return to school today.
A case involving a pupil was also confirmed on Wednesday at Alness Academy.
Carol MacRae of Ankerville Nurseries and Training Centre said the nursery in Tain had received a notification from staff regarding a positive Covid case on November 5.
She said: "As a result the nursery manager contacted Health Protection Scotland and acted swiftly on their advice to close the Tain nursery for a period of 14 days.
"The nursery has now reopened and we will constantly continue to monitor the situation to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our whole nursery community which is our highest priority. We would like to thank our parents and carers for their patience and support at this time.
"We would also like to thank the Health Protection Team and Highland Council Education Dept for their invaluable support and guidance throughout this period."
An outdoor Christmas market planned for Tain later this month has also been cancelled as a precaution.
Related: Latest stats from NHS Highland