After a period where we have seen the number of COVID cases in NHS Highland declining or plateauing, we are now seeing a rise in numbers.
Thanks in large part to the vaccination programme, a smaller percentage of people are becoming seriously ill with COVID.
However, the large number of cases overall does mean NHS Highland is experiencing an increase in people needing inpatient treatment.
As of 02 March, despite efforts to keep and treat as many people as possible at home, there were 53 inpatients with COVID across NHS Highland.
There have also been outbreaks in hospitals and care homes, with NHS staff affected as well as patients and care home residents.
Dr Tim Allison, Director of Public Health for NHS Highland, said:
“Though it may seem as though the world is moving back to ‘normal’, COVID is still a very real risk.
“It may be tempting to wear your mask less, skip hand washing, or to go out and socialise more – especially when many of you delayed or cancelled Christmas parties with friends, family and colleagues but I am asking you to think carefully about the impact of reducing those precautions which have helped keep so many of us safe.
“COVID is a risk to people’s health, not only directly, but also through the indirect pressure it puts on other services. Reducing transmission is still absolutely vital to allow us to care for people across all NHS Highland services.
“I would like to thank all colleagues across health and social care who are going above and beyond to keep services running.
“I’d also like to thank members of the public for everything they have done to help keep them and others safe during this very challenging time.”