Moray Council’s chief executive echoed warnings of disruption to the council’s essential services due to the surge in Omicron cases heading into the new year.
Chief executive, Roddy Burns, warned that staff absences linked to positive Covid cases and people having to subsequently self-isolate are already impacting schools and education services in Moray.
It is likely to see council services disrupted into 2022 and beyond due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
Omicron cases in NHS Grampian totalled 41 on December 22.
Senior managers confirmed that contingency plans have been drafted if the Omicron variant begins to overwhelm vital services.
However, there are warnings that an impact on services such as housing repairs, education, waste and community care may be “unavoidable”.
Chief Executive, Roddy Burns, said: “It’s too early to tell exactly what level of disruption there maybe when the majority of our workforce returns after the festive break.
“But, like other councils, we’re preparing for a potential spike in absences and considering contingencies such as redeployment of staff to support priority services, just like we did earlier in the pandemic.
Omicron surge could lead to pressure on essential council services.
“Where possible, staff are homeworking to protect themselves, and also those who can’t work from home by reducing the risk of transmission in the workplace.
Mr Burns hopes to keep disruption on council services to a minimum heading into 2022 and was prioritising the “most-need services” and to “protect the workforce”.
Earlier in the week, Moray Council said they are “expecting schools to re-open as normal” in the new year but were prepared to move classes to online if required.
He added: “As I said back in March 2020, this is a fast-moving situation and we will work hard to keep everyone up-to-date as it progresses.
“I urge all residents to follow health advice to look after themselves and their families; please get your booster vaccine if you haven’t already, and test regularly.
“If you haven’t received any Covid vaccine, it’s not too late to begin protecting yourself and those around you, and I would urge you to attend the Fiona Elcock Vaccination Centre in Elgin to get that protection.”
To book a booster jab through the NHS website click here.