NHS Forth Valley blames outbreaks in large firms for high COVID-19 figures

Falkirk topped Scotland’s recent list of weekly positive coronavirus tests and the local health board has pointed to two outbreaks in large workplaces as a major factor for the high figures.

Thursday, 11th February 2021, 7:20 am

The Public Health Scotland statistics show Falkirk at the very top of the weekly positive coronavirus tests list for Scottish local authority areas by a margin of almost 50 cases.

As of February 1, Falkirk had a weekly rate of 237.4 positive COVID-19 tests per 100,000 of the population.

Second on the list was another NHS Forth Valley authority, Clackmannanshire, with a rate of 188.2.

Falkirk topped the list of Scottish local authority of weekly positive COVID-19 tests by a large margin

Stirling had a rate of 135.9.

NHS Forth Valley responded, stating there was a number of reasons for the high figures.

A spokesperson said: “The increase in cases of COVID-19 in the Falkirk area is partly due to increased testing and partly because of outbreaks in large workplaces such as factories and a bus depot. We have also seen a rise in the number of cases in Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

“The testing rate in the Forth Valley area is high compared with other health boards. We have recently deployed mobile units in Denny and Grangemouth and are keen to continue to try to identify asymptomatic cases, as the new variant is leading to higher transmission rates where outbreaks have occurred.”

Dr Jennifer Champion, NHS Forth Valley consultant in Public Health, added: “The new variant is much more infectious and once again I urge people to follow government advice, particularly around keeping a two metre distance, and increased hand washing.”