A Covid-19 outbreak at a hospital in the Western Isles has doubled in just 24 hours.
Gordon Jamieson, chief executive of the health board, said six new cases had been confirmed at the Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway, bringing the cluster total to 12.
The majority of cases involve hospital staff. More than 60 people are self-isolating as a result.
There have been no new positive cases on Barra, where 50 people have tested positive, seven flown to hospitals and more than 165 people are self isolating.
Mr Jamieson confirmed the UK variant of the virus had been identified, and urged all residents to follow the restrictions.
“We can also confirm that the UK variant of Covid-19 has been identified in the Western Isles so we must all redouble efforts to keep our communities safe. This new strain is far more infectious, and spreads far more easily so it is vital that we all take every precaution to prevent spread.”
The impact of an outbreak on Benbecula, involving the GP practice at Griminish continues. Today, booked telephone appointments will continue but all nurse appointments have been scheduled.
Local GP Kate Dawson said on Facebook: “Due to staff having contact with someone who has tested positive to Covid-19, we only have one member of staff who is able to go to work. The rest of us are at home until the end of next week.
“While we can still offer some telephone appointments, and medications can still be collected, we are going to be slower than usual to get everything done.
“If you have ordered medication, please don’t expect it to be ready the same day.
“We have sourced additional help, and we are going to have a meeting every morning before we start so that we can be on top of any new issues before they start causing problems.
“The bottom line: Don’t panic, it is only a week. If it is an emergency, call 111 or 999, or phone the surgery on 01870 602215 for an urgent telephone appointment. Order medication online, or by calling 01870 603115.”