There were four new cases of COVID-19 reported yesterday (Monday February 22), and all are linked to the current Isle of Lewis outbreak as all are household contacts of existing cases.

That was stated in the latest update from NHS Western Isles Chief Executive Gordon Jamieson.  This brings the total number of cases related to the original Stornoway outbreak to almost 100, including linked cases located on other islands.

Mr Jamieson said: “We would urge everyone to continue to follow the precautions as we progress through the vaccination programme.

“We are now moving ahead with second vaccinations and as we move forward, the pace at which we vaccinate those in the priority groups with first doses will depend on the supply given to us.”

Meanwhile a study shows that vaccination has been linked to a substantial reduction in the risk of Covid-19 admissions to hospital. This was “exceptionally encouraging news” said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday.

The research shows that by the fourth week after receiving the initial dose the Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines were shown to reduce the risk of hospitalisation from Covid-19 in up to 85 per cent and 94 per cent respectively.  The study was carried out by Public Health Scotland and the Universities of Edinburgh, Strathclyde, Aberdeen, Glasgow and St Andrew’s.

The data was gathered between 8 December and 15 February. During this period, 1.14 million vaccines were administered and 21 per cent of the Scottish population had received a first dose.

And Nicola Sturgeon has announced that Scotland will return to a geographic levels system after national lockdown ends. The First Minister will unveil Scotland’s full route out of lockdown today in Holyrood.  She said it would give indications of the phasing of the easing of restrictions, but it would not provide dates for reopening, stating that the government are taking a 'data over dates' approach.

Ms Sturgeon also announced people with "mild or moderate" learning difficulties will be vaccinated as part of the Scottish Government's next phase of the rollout.  They will become part of priority group six, which includes people with underlying health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease and those with severe or profound learning difficulties.

Orkney and Shetland – both of which continue to report zero cases of Covid-19 – must be hoping for a return to Level One soon.

Scottish Summary: 22 February 2021

  • 715 new cases of COVID-19 reported
  • 12,359 new tests for COVID-19 reported results
  • 6.6% of these were positive
  • 0 new reported deaths of people who have tested positive (noting that Register Offices are now generally closed at weekends)  
  • 1,141 people were in hospital yesterday with recently confirmed COVID-19
  • 99 people were in intensive care yesterday with recently confirmed COVID-19
  • 1,445,488 people have received the first dose of a Covid vaccination
  • 37,342 have received their second dose of a Covid vaccination