A senior health expert has urged everyone in Moray to take a Covid test, even if they don’t have symptoms, amid “uncontrolled, sustained community transmission” of the virus in the county.
With an escalating number of cases in the region, an incident management team has now been launched in an effort to bring the virus back under control.
The region now has 81.4 cases per 100,000 – East Dunbartonshire has the second highest with 41.4, while neighbouring Aberdeenshire and Highland are at 11.
Deputy director of Public Health at NHS Grampian, Chris Littlejohn, chairman of the IMT (Incident Management Team) said: “In Moray we are now seeing uncontrolled, sustained community transmission. Current restrictions are not containing it, and the situation is rapidly deteriorating. We are seeing hospitalisations from this – including in the under 50s – and we will see deaths, if the situation is not brought under control.
“We are urging everyone to protect Moray and get tested, even if they have no symptoms. We hope that by intervening further now we can avoid the possibility of further restrictions or a continuation of level three in Moray – but we need to act now and we need the people of Moray to act with us.
“Although Elgin is the epicentre of the spread, we are now seeing rising levels in places including Lossiemouth, Buckie and Keith.
“We are writing to businesses encouraging them to support us in getting the workforce tested, we are deploying extra mobile testing units and we are continuing with our enhanced testing in the region. “As a next step we are heavily considering door-to-door testing in Elgin and look at how we can facilitate that.”
“Since April 10 we have seen 210 cases in Moray. More than half of those have come in the last eight days alone. This is a rapidly accelerating situation.
“Test positivity in Moray is at 3.2% – across Scotland that figure is close to just 1% – and the R-rate in Moray is at 1.8, so every person in Moray that becomes infected is, on average, passing it on to two other people.
Return to the workplace
“Analytics have shown us many people in the region have returned to their workplaces, rather than working from home. It remains the advice people should work from home where possible and we really need people to do that, where they can.”
MP for Moray Douglas Ross said: “The ongoing surge in Covid cases in Moray is very concerning and we need to do everything possible to stem the increases and get the situation under control.
“The fact that door-to-door testing is being considered should act as a stark reminder to everybody just how severe this has become.
“I am not aware of that having happened anywhere else in Scotland during this pandemic.
“The advice is clear. Get tested, and if you do test positive, you must self-isolate.