Fife warns of more lockdown restrictions unless COVID spike is halted

Health service stays on emergency footing until March 2021

By Hannah Brown
Thursday, 1st October 2020, 7:30 am
COVID testing centre (Pic Lisa Ferguson)
COVID testing centre (Pic Lisa Ferguson)

Fife could face more lockdown restrictions in a bid to spike the recent rise in positive COVID cases.

The warning came at NHS Fife’s monthly board meeting as it confirmed that the current emergency footing state would remain in health facilities until March 2021.

And they warned that could lead to "some really difficult decisions" on the way ahead.

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The total number of positive coronavirus cases in Fife has increased by 36 in the past 24 hours, taking the region’s total since the start of the outbreak to 1299.

Dona Milne, director of public health in Fife, said: "I'm concerned about the rising number of cases and I'm concerned that we may have to consider further restrictions in Fife if we don't see these cases levelling off or, preferably coming down."

NHS Fife is launching a new ‘Stick With It’ campaign urging Fifers to follow the national control measures.

Ms Milne added: "We are asking people to 'stick with it' and continue to follow public health advice. It's clear from our work with contact tracers and speaking to people that not everyone has done that.”

The waring came as the board revealed that that NHS Covid-19 measures will stay in place until at least the end of March 2021.

The "stark clarity" came in a letter from John Connaghan, chief executive of NHS Scotland.

It confirmed that health services will remain on "emergency footing" until next Spring.

Carol Potter, chief executive of NHS Fife said: "This letter provides some stark clarity that we absolutely need to focus on our service delivery in a COVID sensitive environment."

And she warned: "This may require some really difficult decisions over the next few weeks in terms of re-mobilising."

Health boards are to focus on three main tasks in terms of support the public health response to Covid 19.

These included increasing capacity to support test and protect, expanding vaccination programmes for seasonal flu and finalising a preparation plan for winter.

The latter will focus on re-mobilising services in a safe way with a particular focus on a change of delivery model for urgent care service which will be part of a Scotland-wide programme.

> Hannah Brown is the Local Democracy Reporter for Fife & Angus

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