There were no further cases of Covid-19 anywhere in the Western Isles yesterday (Saturday October 24) NHS Western Isles reported last night.

This leaves the complete total number of cases on the Islands, according to NHS Western Isles, since the start of the pandemic, at 61 - with 5o in South Uist, Ersikay and Benbecula, one in North Uist, and now 10 in total on Lewis, following the recent three cases reported last week.

One further mainland-detected case has been retested by NHSWI and found to be negative. This increases the disparity again between the nationally published figures for infections and those reported locally. 

The mainland laboratory system was designed to provide rapid results for a large number of screening tests.  Where a result is a ‘weak positive’ in someone without risk factors for exposure to Covid-19, a confirmatory test is recommended.

The confirmatory test that is used by NHS Western Isles in the local laboratory is called a Cepheid test which is considered to be the ‘gold standard’ in testing for Covid-19 and is used as the system to ‘retest’ as necessary.  Where this test is negative, the mainland laboratory test is regarded as a ‘false positive’. 

 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.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, no matter how mild, you and your household should immediately self isolate and book a test. To access testing in the Western Isles, contact the COVID-19 Response Team on 01851 601151 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. The phoneline will be staffed from 9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday with an answering machine available outwith those hours.

Alternatively you can complete the online COVID-19 Testing Programme Referral Form (NHS Western Isles)