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Island records its first case of Covid – but situation is ‘well under control’

Colonsay has recorded its first case of Covid but island leaders say it has been "well contained".
Colonsay has recorded its first case of Covid but island leaders say it has been "well contained".

One of the smallest inhabited Hebridean islands has had its first recorded case of Covid-19.

A subcontractor working on Colonsay Pier tested positive for the virus but island leaders are confident it has been contained.

CMAL (Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited) is carrying out a £1 million upgrade of harbour infrastructure at Colonsay Ferry Terminal.

The work will help prolong the life of the concrete pier and improve facilities for current vessels.

A spokeswoman for CMAL said the site was shut down on Friday and Monday, but reopened on Tuesday.

She added: “On Friday an employee of a subcontractor tested positive for Covid.

“The individual, along with two other subcontractor employees, are self-isolating in self-catering accommodation.

“As part of our Covid guidelines, all site workers were tested before travelling to Colonsay and all tested negative.

“In addition, following the positive case, all workers have been tested on Friday and Monday.  There have been no further positive cases.

“We have strict Covid guidelines in place to protect our employees, contractors and the communities who live near our harbours projects.

“We have made it clear to all our contractors that they must follow the guidelines stringently at all times.

“For the past 12 months throughout the pandemic, our harbours and engineering teams, with the support of contractors, have continued to provide maintenance and repairs for essential lifeline ferry services.

“In a year, this is the first case of infection across our team and all our work and projects.”

Colonsay is about 10 miles long and two miles wide, with a population of 135.

Strict Covid-19 regulations have been in place and it is believed the case has been contained.

Dr Simon Willets, the GP for the island, said: “The situation is well under control.

“It is the first one and it is not anticipated that there will be any further cases.”

Jane Howard, a member of Colonsay Community Council, added: “It is the first case that I have been aware of.

“It has been contained and is being managed by the doctor.”

An update on the island website says they are expecting visitors back soon now that lockdown restrictions have been eased.

But it warns guests will not be able to enjoy the full island experience they have come to expect.

Colonsay is within the ward of Argyll and Bute Council Leader Robin Currie.

He said: “It has been well contained.

“I understand that as soon as the worker knew that he was positive, he self-isolated.

“They have been working there within a bubble.

“Colonsay is quite strict regarding the Covid regulations it has in place.

“There is only one person allowed in the shop at a time.

“Even if you are a local person and you go to the mainland for something, once you get back you have got to self isolate for 10 days in your own house.

“I attended a meeting of Colonsay Community Council online last night and there wasn’t a mention of it at all. To me that shows there isn’t a concern.

“I believe it is confined to that one person and there isn’t a likelihood of it spreading.

“It is an important point that the whole adult population has been vaccinated, because when the vaccine came onto the island there was far more than needed, so the doctor just did the whole island.

“That is something I have been calling on for a while now. It is safest on the smaller islands to just do the whole population at once rather than do it in dribs and drabs.”

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