Fife launches 'Stick With It' campaign after sharp rise in COVID cases

Household gatherings, schools and car sharing behind latest spike in numbers

By Allan Crow
Wednesday, 30th September 2020, 4:45 pm
Covid 19 testing centre (Pic: Lisa Ferguson)
Covid 19 testing centre (Pic: Lisa Ferguson)

NHS Fife has urged locals to adhere to all COVID guidelines after a sharp rise in cases across the region.

It is set to launch a new ‘Stick With It’ campaign after what it described as “a rapid increase” in cases.

Dona Milne, the region’s director of public health, said there was clear evidence that gatherings across multiple households, and car sharing had “accelerated the spread of the virus in Fife.”

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She said there had been a small number of hospital admissions - but the main impact was on families as people self isolated.

NHS Fife said the Test and Protect programme was playing a crucial role in reducing the spread of COVID-19 by quickly and effectively tracing the contacts of those who are confirmed as carrying the virus, and instructing them to isolate for 14 days to prevent onward transmission.

In an effort to support the reduction of COVID-19 cases locally, it is launching the new ‘Stick With It’ campaign urging Fifers to follow the national control measures in place to reduce the numbers of those contracting the virus.

Added Ms Milne, said: “COVID-19 can potentially be deadly and over recent weeks we have seen a particularly sharp and significant increase in the number of positive cases locally.

“There is clear evidence that both gatherings involving multiple households and the sharing of vehicles have accelerated the spread of the virus in Fife.

“This has resulted in many more people contracting COVID-19, and a small number of people requiring admission to hospital as a result.

“Furthermore, an even greater number of close contacts have been required to self-isolate for 14 days to assist the efforts to contain the virus, causing considerable disruption to households across Fife and preventing many people from being able to attend school or work.”

Self-isolating remains a vital part of reducing the transmission of the virus in Fife.

Those asked to isolate must stay at home for a full 14 days after contact with a positive case, however, other household members do not need to isolate unless they too are identified as a contact.

In cases involving school pupils, only those children identified as a contact of a positive case need to isolate and any other siblings should continue to attend school as normal.

Added Ms Milne: “If we are to protect the most vulnerable in our communities avoid further restrictions like we have seen in other parts of Scotland, then we must continue to take the virus seriously.

“We need people to stick with the rules around gatherings, avoid sharing vehicles with those outwith our own households, avoid crowded places where possible, and wear face coverings where physical distancing is difficult.”

NHS Fife said it remains crucial that anyone experiencing the known symptoms of COVID-19, such as a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, isolates immediately and arranges to be tested using the UK Government Citizens’ Portal or by calling 0800 028 2816.

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Allan Crow, Editor, Fife Free Press