Five new cases of coronavirus in the Borders

Five new positive cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the Borders over the last few days, it has emerged.

Monday, 24th August 2020, 5:20 pm
Morrisons in Hawick's Mart Street, where one employee has tested positive for coronavirus after returning from holiday in Turkey.

The majority of the new cases are due to household contacts within a single family.

A joint statement from NHS Borders and Scottish Borders Council said “swift action” to trace the potential contacts had been taken with all now required to self-isolate at home.

The figures, which bring the number of cases in the Borders up to 353 since the virus began, have been released after it emerged that an employee at Morrisons supermarket in Mart Street in Hawick is one of those to have tested positive after returning from a holiday in Turkey.

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A Morrisons spokeswoman said: “One of our colleagues in our Hawick store has tested positive for coronavirus and we wish them a speedy recovery. We have taken steps in store to ensure it is safe for colleagues and customers.”

Additionally, Selkirk High School is carrying out contact tracing after a single case of Covid-19 emerged.

A joint statement issued to parents from headteacher Jamie Bryson and Lesley Munro, the council’s service director for young people, engagement and inclusion, says: “For your information, we are aware of NHS Contact Tracing activity within the Selkirk High School community. This is in relation to a single case of Covid-19.”

The letter urges parents to be on their guard, adding that children should not attend school if they or members of their household are displaying virus symptoms.

Dr Jim Patterson,the region’s joint director of public health, said: “The incidence of Covid-19 in the Borders remains very low. However, as always it is vital that everyone plays their part in minimising the risk of transmission of this virus. This includes maintaining good hand hygiene and following the guidance on physical distancing.

“If you develop any symptoms of Covid-19 which are a new continuous cough, a fever/high temperature (37.8C or greater) and/or a loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste you should self-isolate immediately and visit NHS Inform or phone 0800 028 2816 to book a test.

“If you are a health or social care worker you should contact your line manager who will arrange for a test.

“Locally our Test and Protect team are working hard to follow up any local cases in order to minimise the spread of the virus.

“If you are contacted by the team we ask that you cooperate with them.

“If you are entering hospitality settings such as pubs, bars or restaurants please ensure that you provide contact details as requested so that the team can do their job if a confirmed case of Covid-19 is identified.

“Now that pupils have returned to education settings it is inevitable that the usual spread of sickness bugs and the common cold return too; however parent and carers must remain vigilant and ensure that no child attends school if they are displaying any Covid-19 symptoms.”

If you are not displaying any symptoms you should not be seeking a test, unless you are contacted by contact tracers and are asked to do so.

Members of the public are asked not to call local health or council switchboards with questions about local cases, contact tracing or to book a test.