COVID-19 Increase in Cases – Clackmannanshire
Local people across Clackmannanshire are being urged to be vigilant and do everything possible to protect themselves and others following a concerning increase in cases of Covid-19 over the last few weeks.
The Forth Valley health board area has the sixth highest rates of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Scotland and while previously rates within the Stirling and Falkirk council areas were significantly higher than Clackmannanshire, this position has now reversed and Clackmannanshire now has the highest rates in the Forth Valley area. Recent figures show that Clackmannanshire has 159 cases per 100,000 people compared with 115 in Falkirk and 81 in Stirling.
The increase in cases within the Clackmannanshire area was discussed at a recent meeting of the NHS Forth Valley as part of wider update on the work of the local Test and Protect service and ongoing service remobilisation plans. It also comes ahead of the introduction a new national Strategic Framework which enables health protection measures to vary not only by Health Board but also by individual council area to take account of different levels of Covid-19 in local communities across Scotland.
Dr Graham Foster, Director of Public Health for NHS Forth Valley, said: “The recent increase in Covid-19 cases is very concerning and we are seeing increasingly levels of household and community transmission across the Clackmannanshire area.
“This is also affecting many local schools and businesses and we are also seeing an increase in hospital admissions of people with Covid-19 from across the Forth Valley, including a number of seriously ill patients who require intensive care.
“I would urge everyone in Clackmannanshire to take steps to protect themselves and help stop the further spread of this virus locally. Stay two metres apart from others, wash your hands or use hand sanitiser regularly, wear a face covering in busy public or communal areas and try to have as few close contacts as you can. Taking these steps will significantly reduce the risk of catching coronavirus and also help avoid the possibility of further restrictions being imposed on the local council area.”
The plea from NHS Forth Valley has cross-party support at Clackmannanshire Council.
Council Leader, Ellen Forson, said: “Everyone has worked so hard over the last seven months and it’s so important that we all continue pull together to do all we can to combat Covid-19 which is on the rise in Clackmannanshire. In order to keep us all safe, the Scottish Government has published the 5 protection levels for Scotland. I’d recommend everyone familiarises themselves with the new levels so they know what they can and can’t do to help keep everyone in our community safe.”
Leader of the Opposition, Dave Clark, added: “The past months have been extremely challenging and I know that as time goes on, these restrictions on our lives are causing frustration. Everyone has their personal part to play, old people, shopkeepers, school children. I urge everyone to be patient and make their own contribution to saving lives by following the latest government and NHS guidance and advice.”
And Leader of Conservative Group, Martha Benny, said: “I’ve always known how strong the communities of Clackmannanshire are, and this pandemic has highlighted some amazing local work to help support those who need help.
“My thanks to everyone who is helping and continues to go out of their way to assist their fellow residents – your concern and sacrifice is wonderful and appreciated.”
Anyone who develops symptoms of Covid-19 should self-isolate immediately along with members of their household and book a test as soon as possible. This can be done online via www.nhsinform.scot/test-and-protect or by calling 0800 028 2816.