A total of 17 individuals in South Uist have now tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 infection, NHS Western Isles reports this afternoon (Monday September 28).
All the individuals are from the southern end of Uist.
Close contacts are being advised to self-isolate and other identified contacts are being followed up and given appropriate advice.
The NHS say: "We would ask that individuals who are tested through Test and Protect do not contact their GP or hospital for their results.
"If tested, you will be contacted directly with the result. Please ensure that you provide accurate contact details and self isolate (i.e. do not leave your house) until you receive your result. If your result is positive, you will be required to self isolate for 10 days.
A Problem Assessment Group (PAG) met on Friday and an Incident Management Team (IMT) met today and is working with Scottish Government, and Public Health Scotland to provide advice and support.
NHS Western Isles Director of Public Health, Dr Maggie Watts said: “The individuals involved have been asked to self isolate for ten days from onset of symptoms and we are tracing all their contacts, who are also being advised to self isolate, for 14 days, from the date of their last contact with the case as a precaution."
Hebridean Housing Partnership have announced that: "In view of the COVID-19 outbreak in Uist we have restricted our repair service in Uist to an emergency-only basis until the situation becomes clearer. We have also ceased our investment works, including smoke and heat detector installations. We will be in touch with people affected by this update, to make new arrangements for the work to be carried out as quickly as possible.
"Services in Barra are operating near normal but we will ensure that only local operatives are employed wherever possible. Heating works are continuing to be carried out by Alex Murray Construction but only in vacant houses at present. We will keep this under constant review.
Track and Trace remains the key weapon in the fight against the spread of Covid-19 in our communities, says Isles MP Angus Macneil and urges any constituent with symptoms to book a test.
With 17 confirmed cases in South Uist and Eriskay, Mr MacNeil has written to NHS Western Isles Chief Executive Gordon Jamieson and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport Jeanne Freeman seeking detail on the testing programme and in particular the possibility of asymptomatic testing. Currently 60 to 80 per cent of Covid carriers are asymptomatic and can unknowingly spread the virus.
Mr MacNeil welcomed the increase in testing figures in Na h-Eileanan an Iar which currently stands at 2886 but stressed that even those who return a negative test should ensure they proceed with isolation. He drew attention to the successful programme of testing, quarantining and testing asymptomatics in the Faroe Islands where the virus has been repressed.
“If people suspect they have even the slightest symptoms, in smell or taste, to book a test because ultimately testing and finding the virus is the way we beat the virus.”
Mr MacNeil added that thoughts of all the communities of Na h-Eileanan an Iar are with those in South Uist and Eriskay affected by this outbreak.
Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has urged close adherence to public health guidance in light of the recent spread of COVID-19 in South Uist and Eriskay.
Alasdair Allan MSP said: “I can only urge everyone to adhere closely to public health guidance. If you develop symptoms, you can book a test using the local phoneline on 01851 601 151. The symptoms are a new persistent cough, a fever or loss of smell or taste.
“If you have questions about self-isolating, testing or symptoms, your first port of call is https://www.nhsinform.scot/.
“Please limit your contact with other households and avoid car-sharing. Ensure physical distancing and good hand hygiene. People should work from home if they can and avoid non-essential travel. We all need to abide by public health guidance, which matters now more than ever.”