Arran has been Covid free for more than 100 days

The safety messages on the #WeAreArran poster widely displayed on the island.

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There have been no cases of Covid-19 on Arran for 105 days, the North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership has confirmed.

But the ‘good news’ is only possible to report as people have been following the government guidelines to combat the coronavirus pandemic and the firm message is: Do not stop now – a message hammered home by the new lockdown restrictions imposed on Aberdeen this week.

As expected, the increase in ferries and visitors to the island in the last two weeks have resulted in increased presentations to A&E and the GP practice. The GP practice is providing a higher number of appointments than usual, though the vast majority of these remain by telephone. They are urging patients to continue to get in touch if they need any health advice.

Arran clinical lead Dr Greg Hamill said: ‘Services remain highly vigilant for symptoms of possible Covid infection. It is not possible to predict with certainty when we will see more coronavirus cases on Arran, but it remains important that our health and care services are operating with increased infection control measures in place and that we maintain the capacity to rapidly assess, treat and isolate cases as they arise. This means that many of the different ways of working will remain for some time. The coming weeks of increased activity on the island will be an important period as will the transition to winter and the usual increase in seasonal infections and illness.’

It is hoped the confirmation that the island is at present Covid-free may help curb the wild speculation about new cases which has been circulating. Test and Protect on the island is said to be working well with 213 tests having been carried out on 151 people at Arran’s own testing centre at Brodick Health Centre, which was launched in June.

Accommodation pathway procedures are now in place for any Covid positive visitors if required and a leaflet has been produced by VisitArran, with help from NHS Ayrshire & Arran, for accommodation providers regarding the procedure and has been very well received.

Dr Hamill went on: ‘We can all continue to do our part by keeping to the Scottish Government’s advice on staying safe and protecting others. FACTS is the acronym to remind us of advice: Wear Face coverings in enclosed spaces and Avoid crowds. Clean your hands and surfaces frequently. Keep Two metre social distancing. Self isolate and book a test if you have symptoms.

‘There will be an expanded flu vaccination programme this year with more people eligible for vaccination. The logistics of delivering this while maintaining social distancing are being worked out. It may prove to be the groundwork vital to delivering a coronavirus vaccine programme.

‘Thank you for your continued support and understanding of the measures needed for safe care. Thank you to everyone working in caring and supporting roles – those for whom that is their job and the very many volunteering or caring for loved ones.’

How to arrange a test

Anyone displaying any of the following symptoms of Covid-19 is eligible for a test on the island: a new continuous cough; a fever/temperature of 37.8ºC or above; or a new loss of sense of smell or taste.

Call 01770 601033 to arrange a test – please do not attend without an appointment or present to A&E with these symptoms. You can find up to date information on Covid-19 at NHSinform