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Medical Ward 1 in Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway is closed to new medical admissions until further notice, as a number of positive cases of COVID-19 have been linked to the ward. 

To help prevent further spread, the ward will be closed to medical admissions until further notice (with the exception of patients requiring admission to the High Dependency Unit and paediatric patients). 

The ward will also be restricted to Essential Visiting only until further notice. All Essential Visitors must ensure that they book all visits in advance, and all visitors are reminded to please ensure that they take a Lateral Flow Device test before visiting hospital. "Please do not visit under any circumstances if you develop symptoms." 

The situation is under daily review.

17/3/22: Latest update from NHSWI Chief Executive Gordon Jamieson. 144 cases: 116 on Lewis, 6 on Harris, 10 on North Uist, 7 on Benbecula, 3 on South Uist & 2 on Barra. NHSWI have drop-in clinics today (Friday) for Flu & COVID vaccination at Western Isles Hospital (12.30-7.30pm) & Uist and Barra Hospital 10.30am - 5.30pm. They malso have a shingles and pneumococcal appointment only clinic today at the Springfield Road Health Centre, Stornoway.

A Problem Assessment Group has been established to ensure all necessary measures are in place to prevent further spread of the virus within the ward.  

The current outbreak in Western Isles Hospital comes as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise significantly in the Western Isles, in particular across Lewis.

The Western Isles is currently reporting by far the highest seven-day rate (per 100,000 population) of positive cases in Scotland. 

"We would stress that hospital admission rates linked to COVID-19 thankfully, although fairly constant, remain low, and many people in the Western Isles who contract COVID-19 are experiencing mild or no symptoms. However, it remains the case that for some people, catching COVID-19 can still cause significant ill-health.  

"As numbers continue to increase across our communities, so does the likelihood that NHS services will be adversely affected.

"NHS Western Isles is therefore issuing a renewed plea to our communities to please take the basic precautions that they can to help reduce the current significant community transmission of the virus."

NHS Western Isles Chief Executive, Gordon Jamieson, said: “We currently have evidence of very significant community transmission in Lewis and while the virus continues to spread, it will have a varying impact on people’s lives, both in terms of disruption where self-isolation requirements remain in place, and for some, in terms of their health.  

“Our communities have worked so hard over the past two years to protect each other and we should all be proud of our efforts. We must continue to work together to take the measures that we can, and are able to, to minimise the spread or transmission and disruption, to protect both health and local services.”