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Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has expressed his concern at the COVID-19 outbreak at the Dun Berisay Care Home in Stornoway.

Earlier, NHS Western Isles and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar confirmed that 11 residents and 8 members of staff had tested positive.

Non-essential visiting at the care home has been suspended.

Alasdair Allan MSP commented:“This is an extremely concerning situation and I hope the affected residents and staff are able to make a swift recovery.

“Even though we have made tremendous progress with vaccinations the virus has not gone away. The outbreak shows that there is still a need for vigilance to protect the older and vulnerable members of our communities.

“People travelling to the Western Isles should please make use of the free lateral flow tests available and test before you travel. If anyone in the islands has not yet been vaccinated please phone 0808 196 8383 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange an appointment.” 

At Dun Berisay Care Home, there are, at present, 11 residents and eight staff who have tested positive.    

Residents’ families are being kept up to date on an ongoing basis by social care staff.       

Teams from NHS Western Isles, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Public Health Scotland continue to support the care home with their arrangements for infection prevention and control to help prevent spread of the infection.  

An Incident Management Team met for the second time today (Wednesday July 28) to monitor and assess arrangements.  

A number of individuals have been identified as close contacts of positive cases and have been required to self-isolate to help prevent further spread of the virus.  

COVID vaccines are effective in helping to prevent serious illness and the need for hospitalisation should you contract COVID-19. However, it is important that you continue to follow safety precautions after having the vaccine, as you can still catch and spread COVID-19 after having one or both doses of the vaccine.   It remains important to protect the most vulnerable members of our communities, even if they have been double vaccinated. Whilst the vaccine reduces the risk of serious illness if you catch COVID, there remains a higher risk of adverse outcomes for the oldest members of our population that they could still suffer serious illness if they contract COVID-19 even after being vaccinated.  

At this time, we are also reminding individuals of the importance of compliance with self-isolation requirements if they are identified as a close contact of a positive case. Self-isolation is not the same as lockdown measures or the ‘stay at home’ message, as those required to self-isolate should only leave home in an emergency situation or to have a COVID test. Self-isolation is important as it helps prevent spread of the virus to others.