Four additional individuals in Uist have been confirmed as positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 infection. 

This brings the total number of people identified as having the virus in Uist to seven, says NHS Western Isles.

And it almost doubles the number of cases officially known on the Outer Hebrides to 15.  This compares to almost 60 in Shetland and 22 in Orkney, both of which have smaller populations.

The first three cases on Uist were only confirmed two days ago, on Friday September 25.

All seven individuals are self-isolating at home and none have required hospital care, says NHS Western Isles. .

The individuals are from the southern end of the Uists.

Test and Protect actions are under way. Contact tracing is ongoing. Close contacts are being advised to self-isolate and other identified contacts are being followed up and given appropriate advice.

A local Problem Assessment Group (PAG) met on Friday and is working with Scottish Government, and Public Health Scotland to provide advice and support.

As part of the identification of cases of COVID-19 in the Uists and because care home staff were identified as close contacts, the PAG has advised testing of all staff and residents of Taigh a'Chridhe Uile Naomh, the care home in Daliburgh.  The care home has suspended admissions, discharges and visiting. Both residents and employees are currently being tested or re-tested.  Because nursery staff were identified as close contacts and asked to self-isolate for 14 days, Cothrom Nursery at Ormiclate is closed until further notice.

NHS Western Isles Director of Public Health, Dr Maggie Watts said: “The individuals involved have been asked to self isolate for 10 days from onset of symptoms and we are tracing all their contacts, who are also being advised to self isolate, for 14 days from the date of their last contact with the case as a precaution.

"We would like to stress that individuals who have been identified as close contacts and advised by the Test and Protect team to self isolate should complete their period of self-isolation, even if they subsequently have a test for COVID-19 and test negative.

“We would like to reassure our local communities and visitors to the island that we are taking all necessary steps to contain the virus.”

NHS Western Isles Chief Executive, Gordon Jamieson, said: “If we are to be able to contain and suppress this outbreak, people must follow the rules. COVID-19 thrives on complacency.

“You should not meet with anyone from outside your household socially indoors in your home or their home (this applies to all age groups but with the exception of extended households).

"Please also ensure that you maintain good respiratory hygiene – cough or sneeze into a tissue and dispose of the tissue in a bin, or alternatively cough/sneeze into your elbow.

“We would further advise that individuals do not car share, unless absolutely necessary; and disposable gloves should not be worn when shopping (hand sanitizer should be used before and after shopping and you should only touch items that you wish to buy).”

F – Face coverings. These should be used in shops and on public transport (buses, trains and taxis)
A – Avoid crowded places.
C – Clean your hands frequently, using water & soap whenever possible.
T – Two metres – observe physical distancing.
S – Self-isolate and book a test if you are suffering from COVID-19 symptoms.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • A high temperature (37.8C of greater)
  • And/or a new and continuous cough
  • And/or a loss or change in your sense of smell and/or taste.