Queues have been building up outside the Covid testing centre in Inverness today as case numbers continue to rise.
More than 20,000 new cases have been confirmed across Scotland over the new year weekend, and First Minster Nicola Sturgeon has recalled MSPs to parliament – virtually – on Wednesday to give an update on the situation.
Today, people sat in lengthy queues at the drive-through testing centre at Inverness campus today as the demand for PCR tests ramp up.
Health boards preempt rise in Covid cases
The health board has made the decision to impose the new restrictions in light of the rising number of Covid cases, which has had a direct impact on staffing levels.
It comes just days after NHS Highland revealed that almost half of its care homes were closed due to the recent increase in the spread of the virus.
Thousands of tests have been carried out across the country in the last four days as new year celebrations were in full swing.
Since December 31, a total of 65,860 Covid tests have been carried out, of which 34,9% were confirmed to be positive.
Dr Boyd Peters, medical director for NHS Highland, said they were anticipating a similar rise in cases, as seen over the Christmas period, causing serious issues to the norths “fragile” health and care system.
He said: “Feedback from our contact tracers tells us that social gatherings and travel are having the biggest impact on case numbers in our area. We have already seen an increase in the area which we believe is linked to people travelling for Christmas and we are expecting the same to happen as people travel and meet up for New Year.
“The threat and impact of Covid remains a significant concern as modelling tells us a big increase in community infections now will cause serious issues in late January, both for individual patients and for the staffing of services.”