Omicron Scotland: Cases confirmed in Forth Valley

People have been urged to be vigilant after five cases of the Omicron variant were traced in Forth Valley

Friday, 3rd December 2021, 3:22 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd December 2021, 3:45 pm

Health chiefs are asking people to take regular Covid-19 tests and get vaccinated.

Contact tracing is now underway to identify any contacts of the confirmed cases who will be advised to self-isolate for ten days, regardless of their vaccination status.

Across Scotland the number of Omicron cases jumped from 16 to 29 overnight.

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People are being encouraged to get vaccinated

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned numbers may rise “significantly” in the coming days as the variant is circulating in the community.

Previously, nine Omicron cases were linked to a single private event, but the First Minister said there are now several different sources of infections of the new variant, including a Steps concert at the Hydro in Glasgow on November 22.

Six cases are understood to be linked to this event.

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The First Minister said: “The number of Omicron cases now being reported in Scotland is rising, and cases are no longer all linked to a single event, but to several different sources including a Steps concert at the Hydro on November 22.

“This confirms our view that there is now community transmission of this variant within Scotland. Given the nature of transmission we would expect to see cases rise, perhaps significantly, in the days ahead.”

NHS Forth Valley’s Director of Public Health, Dr Graham Foster, said: “We don’t yet know enough about this new variant so it is important to remain cautious and do everything we can to minimise the risk of spreading infection. This includes keeping a safe distance from others, testing yourself regularly for Covid-19 before mixing with people from other households - whether that is in a pub, a restaurant, a house or a shopping centre, wearing a face mask and improving ventilation by opening windows at home, work and in cars.

“Free lateral flow tests are widely available from local Covid-19 testing centres and pharmacies or can be ordered online for home delivery. Regular testing is particularly important over the next few weeks in the run up to Christmas as people start to socialise more and mix with friends and family from other households. If you have any symptoms of Covid-19 you should order or book a PCR test and self-isolate until you know your results.”

Urging people to get vaccinated, Dr Foster added: “Although we need to understand more about how effective the vaccine is against the new variant, we know it is extremely effective against existing variants which make up the overwhelming majority of Covid-19 cases across Scotland.

“If you haven’t already had either your first or second Covid-19 vaccination please attend one of our local drop-in vaccination clinics and if you are eligible for your booster, which is currently being offered to everyone aged 40 and over, please book an appointment now by calling the national vaccination helpline on 0800 030 8013.”

The update comes as Scotland recorded 16 coronavirus-linked deaths and 2,432 new cases in the past 24 hours.

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