NHS Orkney is asking locals to increase their efforts to limit the spread of Covid in the community.
The plea, released in partnership with Orkney Islands Council, comes after the health board recorded around 300 cases this week.
Though hospital admissions remain low, these high case rates are still having a significant impact on vital services including care and schools.
Both NHS Orkney and the council called on the community to work together to minimise the spread of the virus.
Locals are being asked to ensure their homes are prepared for the possibility that they may need to self-isolate, and it has been stressed that businesses should have contingency plans in place for staff shortages.
‘Tipped over the edge’
Interim chief executive of Orkney Islands Council, John Mundell, explained the extent to which services are being stretched.
He said: “Through the Herculean efforts of our staff we have – in the main – been able to keep services going this week, in the face of significant staffing challenges.
“There are a few services that are currently right on the edge – and unfortunately some that tipped over that edge – this week.
“To ensure that we can keep on track next week, we really need everyone in Orkney to pull together again and turn the current tide on community transmission.”
The rising number of #Covid cases in #Orkney could have an enormous impact on our services – please read our joint statement with @NHSOrkney and heed the advice within https://t.co/7m1Vmb8UKc pic.twitter.com/CCLOqZ2dZZ
— Orkney Islands Council (@OrkneyCouncil) February 18, 2022
‘Must remain vigilant’
People living across the Orkney islands were reminded to use face coverings and to take lateral flow tests if meeting up with members from another household.
Dr Louise Wilson, director in public health for NHS Orkney said: “We must remain vigilant as we continue to see high numbers of people testing positive for Covid-19 in the county.
“Covid-19 is not going away but we can help to reduce the spread of the virus.
“We’d urge you to have plans in place to help you manage at home should you require to isolate. Likewise, we continue to ask businesses to have contingency plans in place if large numbers of their staff test positive or need leave to look after family members.
“We need to work together so that we can minimise the spread of transmission and disruption.”