NHS Dumfries & Galloway

Testing urged as region aims to hold back Omicron-driven COVID increase

‘TEST, test test’ is the call being made, as the region anticipates growing numbers of COVID-19 cases driven by the Omicron variant.
Numbers of new COVID-19 cases actually dipped last week, from 609 to 562, but it is expected that this is a temporary lull and that the region will very quickly follow the rest of the country as the high transmission of Omicron drives up case numbers.
Director of Public Health Valerie White said: “Unfortunately, we can expect cases of COVID-19 to increase in Dumfries and Galloway due to Omicron, in line with the rest of the country.
“We are expecting an increase in people requiring medical assistance in the region, and this is from an existing position of huge strain right across our health and social care system.
“Beyond that, there’s also the impact that measures to limit the transmission of the virus and the impact of people falling ill with COVID or having to self-isolate as contacts will have on public and private services across our region. We’re seeing recommendations being made to limit the numbers in our social gatherings, as well as moves to limit numbers in public settings.
“This is why it’s so vital that everyone eligible gets their booster jag now, to give our region the best defence against the virus at this worrying time.
“Book in via the national portal at https://vacs.nhs.scot/csp or call 0800 030 8013.
“Testing before we head out to situations where we are mixing with others is also incredibly important, as it gives us a chance to catch the virus before it has the chance to spread to others, multiplying the number of cases.
“Wearing face coverings in indoor public settings helps to stop you unknowingly passing the virus to others, and hand hygiene remains important. Please also give serious thought to all your interactions, trying to ensure good ventilation when we are indoors.
“The inevitable increase in cases is coming at the worst time of year – when services are already stretched, and when people are likely to be interacting more.
“Please plan for the safest possible Christmas. Get your booster now, test regularly, and follow the guidance to help limit the spread.”
Symptoms of COVID-19 are:
A raised temperature
A new and continuous cough
Change to or loss of sense of taste and or smell
Regular asymptomatic testing for COVID provides assurance and helps to identify cases at the earliest opportunity. Details on the full range of testing opportunities can be found by visiting the website www.nhsdg.co.uk/testing/
Full details on opportunities to be vaccinated can be found by visiting the website www.nhsdg.co.uk/vaccines/