Fifty people a day receiving Covid-19 tests at temporary centre launched to tackle spike in cases

Almost 200 people were tested for Covid-19 during the first four days that a temporary centre was set up in Lerwick in response to the recent spike in cases. 

Shantini Paranjothy, professor of public health and honorary consultant in public health at NHS Shetland gave a report on the centre’s work at an online press conference this morning (Wednesday).

Prof Paranjothy said that since the centre was set up on Friday morning, an average of 50 people a day had visited. The total by the end of Monday was 199. 

Prof Paranjothy said four positive cases had been identified from those tested – although additional positives have been picked up through the traditional testing methods that have continued alongside the temporary facility. 

The testing centre at Gilbertson Park games hall has been provided by the Scottish government and manned by Scottish Ambulance Service staff. 

Prof Paranjothy thanked them for putting the centre in place. 

She said the response had been “really good”. 

“The increase in capacity has meant that we can widen the range of people we are testing,” Prof Paranjothy said. 

“We’ve observed that cases are continuiung in Shetland.

“We know most of these are not connected to the initial cluster we saw over Christmas and New Year. 

“We are certainly seeing spread throughout households and extended households.”

The centre is open again today from 9am-5pm and tomorrow from 9am-4pm, before it leaves. 

People can just turn up and take a test or book ahead via the government’s website.

People booking should choose the option to say that they are taking part in community testing if they are asymptomatic.


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