Borderers warned not to be complacent as Covid-19 cases rise again

As Covid-19 cases rise once again, Borderers are being urged to be extra vigilant to help stop the spread of the virus.

By Kevin Janiak
Thursday, 17th June 2021, 11:41 am
Ralph Roberts, chief executive of NHS Borders
Ralph Roberts, chief executive of NHS Borders

Figures from Public Health Scotland show the rate of positive tests in the area has doubled in a week to 66.7 cases per 100,000 people, with 46 cases alone coming from St Peter's Primary School in Galashiels.

NHS Borders chief executive, Ralph Roberts, said: “Cases of Covid-19 are rising not only across Scotland, but also here in the Borders.

"It is vital that we do not become complacent to the threat of this highly transmissible virus.

"When you mix with others there is a potential opportunity to catch or pass on Covid-19 – be this at school, work or in social settings. This is even more likely with the new Delta variant that is in circulation.

“Please consider how many people you are mixing with and the circumstances around these occasions – for example meet outdoors and in smaller groups whenever possible.

“It is crucial that we all continue to stick to the rules and follow the FACTS.

“We know that the vaccine is safe and has an impact on hospital admissions as well as the severity of cases. Please protect yourself and your loved ones by coming forward to get vaccinated when it is your turn, including when it is time for your second dose to ensure that you have greater protection against Covid-19.

“More than 80,000 people have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in the Borders so far, that is around 85% of our total eligible population. In addition, over 59,000 people have received their second dose.

“We are running a drop-in AstraZeneca vaccination clinic this Saturday, June 19, at the Borders Events Centre at Springwood Park in Kelso from 9.30am until 4.30pm for Borders residents in certain groups.

"People aged 40 and over who have not had their first vaccination can turn up without an appointment to get vaccinated. Those who had their first dose of the AstraZenca vaccine before 25 April can also turn up, even if they have already have an appointment scheduled for their second dose.

“People will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis, so please be patient if you have to wait.”

A number of schools in the Borders currently have Covid-19 cases, with some pupils having to self-isolate. These are St Peter's Primary (Galashiels), Burgh Primary (Galashiels), Jedburgh Grammar Campus, Berwickshire High in Duns and West Linton Primary.

In addition, there are also community cases of Covid-19 in both Hawick and Selkirk, which have resulted in some pupils at schools in these areas having to self-isolate as they have been deemed 'close contacts' of positive cases.

"It is important to emphasise, however, that these contacts happened in the community rather than in school.

Councillor Shona Haslam, leader of Scottish Borders Council, said: "We are working closely with NHS Borders to manage any Covid-19 incidents in our schools and continue to ensure the most appropriate advice and updates are provided as required for parents and staff.

"When action is required this is being taken quickly and in partnership with schools and parents.

"We have all necessary risk assessments and safety measures in place in our schools, but these new cases are a timely reminder that Covid-19 isn't going away just yet.

"Please be extra vigilant and continue to follow all the guidance in place."