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By Democrat reporter
The Scottish Government has announced that from this morning, households in West Dunbartonshire must not meet with other households.
All care home and hospital visits will only be conducted outside, if any member of a household is identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case then that household must quarantine for 14 days.
These restrictions will be reviewed after seven days but are expected to last for at least two weeks.
The number of cases in West Dunbartonshire has risen to 32 per 100,000 people – more than three times the Scottish average.
Jackie Baillie MSP said: “I understand that an increase to restrictions which had previously been eased will come as a disappointment to many people.
“However, I cannot stress enough the importance of following absolutely all guidance that has been set.
“In essence, households are not to socialise but schools and economic activity can continue.
“These steps are in place to protect our health and the well-being of the most vulnerable in our communities. Our area has been particularly badly hit by Covid-19 and while we are through the worst of it, we are not yet in the clear.
“I am fully aware of the frustrations and issues that local people have had in trying to access local testing in recent days.
“I have continually argued for a permanent local testing unit to be opened in our area and will continue to do so in the coming days.
“I have spoken to the deputy First Minister John Swinney and he has arranged for a mobile unit to be based in Dumbarton for the immediate period.
“My thanks continue to go to all the front line and key workers who are supporting our community during this time and we owe it to them to all play our part and strictly follow the guidance.”
Meanwhile, the Health Board Our Test and Protect team is carrying out COVID-19 contact tracing in the following new schools within the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area.
- Our Lady and St Patrick’s High School, Dumbarton
- Glasgow Gaelic Secondary School, Glasgow
A spokesperson said: “At this time there is no evidence of transmission within the schools themselves.
“To respect and maintain patient confidentiality, no further details will be released but we can confirm close contacts are being advised to self-isolate and being given advice and support.
“Apart from those who are identified as close contacts, all other staff and pupils can continue to attend as normal. There is no risk to the wider community.
“We continue to ask the public to remain vigilant. The general measures to minimise the risk of COVID-19 remain the same – social distancing, regular hand washing, and being on the look-out for symptoms.
“There is no need for anyone to seek a test if they are not experiencing any symptoms but anyone with one or more of the symptoms should immediately self-isolate and order a test on the NHS inform website http://www.nhsinform.scot.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie today pressed the First Minister over whether the test and protect system is failing and whether quarantine failures had led to recent outbreaks.
Speaking after First Minister’s questions, Mr Rennie said: “Infection rates in the West of Scotland are higher than most of England and countries like Greece and Portugal – for which we have just imposed quarantine measures.
“Test and Protect was supposed to drive the virus out before it spread but the First Minister is unable to say why this has not happened.
“Likewise, last week I asked the Justice Secretary why the quarantine spot checks had lost 700 people. But neither he nor the First Minister seem to know.
“The public needs to know that the right measures are in place to prevent the virus from spreading.”