Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

After taking 21 months to reach 1,000 Covid cases, stark warning as Orkney’s toll rises from 2,000 to 3,000 in two weeks

The Balfour hospital in Kirkwall.
The Balfour hospital in Kirkwall.

The director of public health with NHS Orkney has given a stark picture of the rise in Covid-19 cases the county is seeing.

Presenting an update to the health authority’s board, Dr Louise Wilson said she wanted to “make it really come home that our picture is different” than the national one.

She said: “From March 2020 it took us 21 months to reach our first thousand Covid cases.

“It took us two months for us to go from one thousand to two thousand cases. It has taken us two weeks to go from two thousand to three thousand cases.”

1,000 cases recorded in just two weeks

“That’s 21 months. Two months. Two weeks.”

“That really starkly demonstrates the rise we’re seeing and the impact that will be having across our services.”

Her report states that Omicron and Delta have taken their toll, with cases being seen across all ages and have affected services.

Government data shows, in the last week alone, 402 people in Orkney confirmed a positive test result. Sixty-one people confirmed a positive lateral flow or PCR test on February 23.

Recent weekly rates show Orkney counting more positive tests than the rest of Scotland apart from Shetland.

Covid cases in Orkney lag behind picture seen by mainland Scotland health boards

A joint plea was issued from Orkney council and NHS Orkney for the public to increase their efforts to limit the spread of the virus.

Earlier this month, Dr Wilson said the rising numbers are likely due to the Omicron variant, increasing travel, and people meeting up indoors due to poor weather.

She also said the Orkney public has been “extremely diligent” in their use of lateral flow tests.

Michael Dickson, NHS Orkney interim Chief Executive.

Hospitalisations remain low, although Dr Wilson said these usually lag behind case numbers.

Orkney’s uptake rate for covid vaccinations is looking healthy, with over 84% of those over 18-years-old having had their third booster jab.

However, Dr Wilson’s key message is that Orkney is behind mainland health boards, in terms of their peak in cases.

‘We’re not out of this. The pandemic is not over’

During the meeting, Michael Dickson, the interim chief executive of the Orkney and Shetland health boards said services have been affected by the rise in cases.

However, he added that “fantastic work” is going on to keep them up and running,

He said: “It’s been a really challenging period of time. We’re not out of this. The pandemic is not over by a long stretch.

“Orkney is tracking about four weeks behind mainland Scotland. Services won’t immediately snap back to where they were. But the clinical pressure on services has been less than it could have been.

“If we had seen those figures at the beginning of the pandemic, when we didn’t have anti-virals and were limited in our testing, the picture would have been incredibly stark.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in