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Cases of Covid may be on the rise in Barra, where some essential services are being affected due to new Covid cases.

Barra Medical Practice has today (Monday 4 July) posted an update on their website warning that high sickness levels are affecting their service.

They said: “The practice is experiencing high sickness levels at the moment due to Covid-19. This is affecting our reception and dispensary team.

“As a result it may take longer for your call to be answered.  There may be a delay in issuing your repeat prescriptions. Please bear with us until the high Covid infection rate has passed and staffing levels are back to normal. Thank you for your patience and support.”

There was only one Mass on Sunday on the island, after Canon John Paul Mackinnon tested positive for Covid last Wednesday (29 June), obliging him to self-isolate in the Chapel House.

Ordinary weekend services were cancelled, but retired priest Fr Gerry Hanlon, who has been providing cover at St Mary’s Church in Benbecula, travelled over on Sunday to celebrate Mass at St Barr’s Church in Northbay.

Barra Catholic Church said: “We are very grateful to Fr. Gerry for helping Canon John Paul while he recovers from Covid. We pray for a speedy recovery for Canon John Paul and for all with Covid just now.”

NHS Western Isles latest advice is: “Covid is still around, keep doing the things that protect you and your loved ones. For more information visit gov.scot/coronavirus.”