Covid outbreaks in hospital affected 22 patients and staff members 

Two Covid outbreaks were reported in the Gilbert Bain Hospital this winter – but have since returned to “very low” numbers in the community.

NHS Shetland’s director of nursing and acute services Kathleen Carolan assured board members on Tuesday the outbreaks were “well managed”.

Her report on infections said the first outbreak happened in January, affecting eight patients and three staff members, and had likely been caused by a visitor who later tested positive.

A further outbreak affected six patients and five members of staff, with the infection control team raising issues around how personal protective equipment was being used.

Mrs Carolan said the board’s overall level of infections was low and that any recorded case was subject to “root cause analysis” with input from a consultant microbiologist.

Earlier in the meeting, board chairman Gary Robinson reported comments from public health director Susan Laidlaw on the current low levels of Covid infection.

Dr Laidlaw said her team was only monitoring infections in the hospital and care home settings where the numbers had “decreased in the past month to very low levels”.

The board was reminded on the advice for anyone with Covid or flu-like infections to stay at home and avoid other people if they have a high temperature or feel unwell.


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