Aberdeenshire cases rising as tougher rules considered

Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire are in level two but are being closely monitored by the Scottish Government.

Cases of coronavirus are on the rise in Aberdeenshire but there is a more “mixed picture” in nearby Aberdeen city, Scotland’s national clinical director has said.

Both local authority areas are in level two of the five-tier alert system, where restaurants and pubs are open and alcohol can be served with a main meal, but are being closely monitored by the Scottish Government.

“Everything is up” in Aberdeenshire, Professor Jason Leitch said at Friday’s daily coronavirus briefing, adding that discussions were ongoing with public health chiefs.

Speaking about the two areas, which face moving to level three if the situation doesn’t improve, Prof Leitch said: “Aberdeen city is a little bit of a mixed picture, so for example if you just look at the last week of data, the number of cases is down 29% but has increased in four of the seven days, so it’s very important to look over time at the prevalence of this virus.

“In terms of the test positivity, it has decreased from five to 3.7 so that is good news but it is not universal good news in Aberdeen city.

“In Aberdeenshire, I’m afraid it’s not such a mixed picture. Everything is up. Case level is 21% up, in the last seven days, and there have been increases in six of the last seven days.

“And test positivity has gone in the opposite direction, it has gone up to 5.2 % from 4.3%. They are not the only things we consider.

“We have to absolutely look with directors of public health about outbreaks, about the capacity of NHS Grampian, about other things that are happening in the local authority and surrounding areas, and that will happen even today, we’re having a conversation with the director of public health, and those conversations will continue with the local authorities, with our support and advice, over the weekend.”

Meanwhile, Scotland has recorded 41 deaths of coronavirus patients and 966 positive cases in the past 24 hours, deputy first minister John Swinney said.

The death toll under this measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – is now 3889.

There are 965 people in hospital confirmed to have the virus, a fall of 17 in 24 hours. Of these patients, 65 are in intensive care, down by four.

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