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There continues to be a much lower level of Covid-19 infection across the Western Isles as anti-Covid restrictions start to be lifted again across Scotland. 

The latest update from NHSWI Chief Executive Gordon Jamieson said there were 12 cases, all in Lewis: 8 contacts which are linked, 1 new, 2 where contact tracing is ongoing and 1 new case who is off island at present.

NHSWI have 3 vaccination clinics today, including a clinic for Nicolson Institute pupils in the Sports Centre for 1st and 2nd doses (9am - 4pm).

👉 Western Isles Hospital- 9am - 4pm

👉 Uist and Barra Hospital- 10.30am - 5.30pm.

These two clinics are for Covid booster, 1st and 2nd dose and flu.

Scottish Summary: 11 January 2022
  • 10,392 new cases of COVID-19 reported*
  • 43,739 new tests for COVID-19 that reported results*
  • 27.7% of these were positive
  • 16 new reported deaths of people who have tested positive
  • 1,479 people were in hospital yesterday with recently confirmed COVID-19
  • 54 people were in intensive care yesterday with recently confirmed COVID-19
  • 4,393,689 people have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination
  • 4,051,635 have received their second dose
  • 3,130,502 have received a third dose or booster

* There continues to be large volumes of tests being processed by labs; this has impacted turnaround times resulting in delays between specimen’s beings taken and results being received and reported. PHS are continuing to monitor the situation.

On 5 January 2022, the Scottish Government announced that people who do not have symptoms will no longer be asked to take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm a positive Lateral Flow Device (LFD) result.

Instead, anyone with a positive LFD, who does not have symptoms, should report the result online as soon as the test is done.

In order to ensure that we continue to provide the most accurate information, changes have been made to the national COVID-19 case definition to reflect this revised testing strategy. At present, we report on PCR tests only.  From Thursday 13 January, we will begin reporting on the number of people with a COVID-19 infection confirmed by either a first LFD or PCR positive test.

Large outdoor events can resume without physical distancing or capacity limits from the start of Monday 17 January, following a review of all measures in place to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

To support the lifting of capacity limits on outdoor events, COVID certification will remain for these where more than 4,000 standing or 10,000 seated are in attendance, and all other events and venues previously covered. Organisers of all events with more than 1,000 attendees will be expected to check a minimum of 50% of attendees for certification of vaccination, exemption, or negative test.

From Monday, a person will need to show they have had a booster to be considered ‘fully vaccinated’ if their last vaccine dose was more than four months ago.

The NHS Scotland COVID Status app will be updated from this Thursday and will include booster jags on the QR code for domestic settings.

Updated paper and PDF certificates are already available on request from the NHS Inform website or helpline.

Cabinet will next review the state of the epidemic on Tuesday 18 January and consider whether it may be possible to lift capacity caps on indoor live events, including theatre performances and concerts, from 24 January, by which time the impact of the return to schools and workplaces following the festive period should start to show.

Cabinet will also consider whether COVID certification should be required in a broader range of settings.

Local authorities will receive up to £5 million of additional support to ensure ventilation in schools and early years settings meets the latest COVID-19 safety guidance. The funding is to improve air flow, such as adjustments to windows and doors, use of fan systems and use of air cleaning devices in line with existing safety guidance. This is in addition to Scottish Government funding of £10 million provided local authorities for ventilation and CO2 monitoring last year.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:“We remain in a highly challenging phase of the pandemic. Case numbers are high, and the impacts of that are severe, and the future trajectory does remain uncertain at this stage.

“But, because of the efforts we have all made, we are in a better position than I feared would be the case when additional measures were announced in December, and I do hope we are now seeing signs of improvement.

“That is allowing us to start the process from Monday of lifting the additional restrictions - and I hope that next week I will be able to confirm the further steps in that process.

“In the meantime, we can all continue to act in a way that keeps things moving in the right direction. Get fully vaccinated as soon as you can – if you haven’t done so already, please do that and do it this week. Try to limit your contacts for a further period, and prioritise the contacts that matter most to you. If you are meeting other people socially, test before you go, every time, as close as possible to the time you will be seeing other people and remember to record the result whether that is positive or negative, and take all the other precautions that make a difference.

"‘Living with the virus’, a phrase that we hear more and more right now, is what we all desperately want to do. Unfortunately it doesn’t mean waking up one morning soon and find that COVID has disappeared or that we no longer need to think at all about mitigating the harm it can do.

"Hopefully, we are on a path from COVID being an epidemic to it becoming endemic - in other words, existing at more manageable and consistent levels.

“These are important issues for not just government, but for all of us - so as we prepare the revised strategic framework in weeks to come, we will consult with Parliament, business organisations and other partners across society. Our aim is to publish the revised strategic framework within the next few weeks.”