A VERY speedy response has followed the detection of COVID cases associated with Galloway Community Hospital in Stranraer.
Rapid testing of patients and staff along with a deep clean within the hospital has provided a greater understanding of the situation, and a measure of assurance.
A total of 5 positive cases of COVID have been confirmed across staffing and patients.
This comes as cases continue to be detected within the local community – with new cases continuing to emerge across all four of the region’s localities: Annandale and Eskdale, Nithsdale, Stewartry and Wigtownshire.
Garrick and Dalrymple are the two wards at Galloway Community Hospital. Yesterday, Garrick was closed to new admissions and routine in-patient visiting. Today, routine in-patient visiting at Dalrymple has also been suspended as a precaution, with the same exceptions for end of life, birth partners, children, and patients with mental health issues including dementia, learning disabilities and autism.
This precedes the suspension of non-essential inpatient visiting on December 26 as part of mainland Scotland’s move into Level 4 on the national COVID protection framework.
It is possible that some services at GCH may be affected by the actions which are being undertaken, and anyone impacted by that will be contacted directly.
Amid ongoing cases of COVID within the local community, a reminder is issued of the very great importance of following current rules and guidance.
FACTS guidance sets out that people need to follow directions around use of face coverings, around maintaining good hand hygiene, and around physical distancing and social interaction.
Is it also vitally important that anyone who believes they may be experiencing symptoms of COVID immediately self-isolates, arranges to have a COVID test, and continues to self-isolate until results are received.
A reminder is being issued that, despite the move from Level 2 to Level 1, minimal travel is recommended between different levels, and no travel is permitted into Level 3 and 4 areas outside Dumfries and Galloway unless absolutely essential. Travel into other parts of the United Kingdom is also not permitted.
In addition, in-home socialising is still not permitted in Dumfries and Galloway, and a maximum of six people from two households are allowed to meet in indoor public places, and eight people from three households outdoors.
COVID-19 testing is available for all members of our community with coronavirus symptoms who are aged 5 years or older through the Mobile Testing Unit that moves around Dumfries and Galloway on a daily basis.
Latest dates and locations, and please note the new location for Dumfries tests:
Tuesday 22 December – Stranraer – Ashwood House, DG9 7JJ
Tuesday 22 December – Annan – Murray Street Car Park DG12 6ED
Wednesday 23 December – Dumfries – Dumfries Dental Centre, Bankend Road DG1 4AP
Wednesday 23 December – Kelloholm – Mill Hill Centre, Corserig Crescent, Kelloholm DG4 6EL
Thursday 24 December – Dumfries – Dumfries Dental Centre, Bankend Road DG1 4AP
Thursday 24 December – Stranraer – Ashwood House, DG9 7JJ
Friday 25 December – Dumfries – Dumfries Dental Centre, Bankend Road DG1 4AP
Friday 25 December – Stranraer – Ashwood House, DG9 7JJ
Saturday 26 December – Dumfries – Dumfries Dental Centre, Bankend Road DG1 4AP
Saturday 26 December – Stranraer – Ashwood House, DG9 7JJ
Sunday 27 December – Dumfries – Dumfries Dental Centre, Bankend Road DG1 4AP
Sunday 27 December – Stranraer – Ashwood House, DG9 7JJ
Appointments can be made at these centres each day from 9:30am, by logging on to the website: https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test
Anyone who does not have access to the internet is asked to phone NHS 24 on 111.
Home testing kits are also available and come with comprehensive instructions to guide you through administering the swab yourself. These kits are delivered and collected by Amazon and Royal Mail, and they do not have access to the results or any health data.
For information, visit https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19#test-and-protect
People who work in health or social care, the Emergency Services, or Dumfries and Galloway Council and have symptoms of coronavirus (even if mild) are being asked to arrange for testing through NHS Dumfries and Galloway through the well established routes.