Coronavirus: Potential Covid-19 cluster in Lanarkshire

Coronavirus: Potential Covid-19 cluster in Lanarkshire

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The outbreak involves a call centre which carries out coronavirus contact tracing, the BBC understands

A potential cluster of Covid-19 cases is being investigated in North Lanarkshire, health officials have confirmed.

BBC Scotland understands the outbreak involves a call centre which carries out coronavirus contact tracing for the NHS.

One employee said they believed at least seven colleagues had tested positive.

NHS Lanarkshire said it was aware of a number of “potentially linked cases”.

Dr David Cromie, NHS Lanarkshire consultant in public health medicine, said: “We became aware this morning [19 July] of a number of potentially linked cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) in Lanarkshire.

“We instigated some immediate measures to reduce risk and are currently investigating the situation.”

Earlier, the Scottish government said 23 new cases of Covid-19 had been detected across Scotland in the past 24 hours, although only three of these were in the Lanarkshire health board area.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was still a low number of cases and fluctuation was “to be expected”.

The proportion of positive tests remains well below 1%.

It follows an increase of 21 new cases on Saturday, which was the highest daily figure in almost a month.

Health officials said at the time they did not believe they were dealing with a linked cluster as the new cases were spread over a large area of Scotland.

The Scottish government said contact tracing is under way following the detection of “a small number of potentially linked cases in North Lanarkshire”.

“Where potential clusters of cases develop we must find them and act quickly to prevent further spread and we are grateful to local partners for their swift response,” a spokesman said.

The spokesman said “a small increase in the number of cases is not unexpected as lockdown is lifted”, adding that it highlights the importance of the public co-operating with contact tracers as well as following guidelines on social distancing and wearing face coverings.

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