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There were no new cases of COVID-19 yesterday (Tuesday March 23) in the Western Isles, says the latest update from NHSWI Chief Executive Gordon Jamieson.

And he added, looking ahead, we have good news in that we move from Level 4 to Level 3 tonight from 6pm – "a boost for all as a result of everyone’s ongoing and continuing efforts."

The rules for Legal 3 are here – https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-protection-levels/pages/protection-level-3/

Meanwhile, the key vaccination programme continues and Mr Jamieson says: "We have slots available for those eligible across the Western Isles this week.

"If you are aged 40 or over, an unpaid carer, or aged 16-64 with an underlying condition that puts you at risk, we would urge you to contact us as soon as possible to make an appointment - 0808 196 8383.

"The reason we are currently urging people to make contact for their first dose as soon as possible is that we will shortly be moving to a significant focus on second doses in high numbers.

"Whilst first doses will still be arranged, it will not be on the same scale or at the same pace as at present, as we work on ensuring second doses are administered within the required timescales.

"So please take the opportunity and book your vaccination appointment if you are eligible.

"Today marks the anniversary of the first lockdown and it’s been a day of reflection as we look back on a trying and difficult year.

"Our thoughts today have been with those who have suffered illness and loss in particularly difficult circumstances.

"Looking back, we also thank health and social care staff, partners, the voluntary sector and everyone involved in combating this virus."

Scottish summary: 23 March 2021

  • 495 new cases of COVID-19 reported
  • 15,217 new tests for COVID-19 that reported results
  • 3.6% of these were positive
  • 7 new reported deaths of people who have tested positive 
  • 341 people were in hospital yesterday with recently confirmed COVID-19
  • 28 people were in intensive care yesterday with recently confirmed COVID-19
  • 2,214,672 people have received the first dose of a Covid vaccination
  • 235,671 have received their second dose of a Covid vaccination

The figures show a continued rise in the percentage of positive cases which remains around 10x higher than in August last year.