DESPITE continuing very high case numbers across Dumfries and Galloway, no further cases have been identified this week following a COVID-19 cluster earlier this month associated with Cree Ward at Midpark Hospital in Dumfries.
Thirteen days have now elapsed since the last positive case was identified on 4 January, with a total of eight patients testing positive during the outbreak. Further patient testing will take place next week and with enhanced cleaning taking place.
Midpark Hospital is an inpatient mental health facility, and Cree Ward provides inpatient support to many elderly patients, including some at end of life.
Very sadly, within the past week an inpatient at Cree Ward has died after having tested positive for COVID-19 within 28 days prior to their death.
A spokesman for Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership said: “This has been an extremely difficult time for patients and families at Midpark, as well as for staff who mounted an extremely professional response to this outbreak as soon as it was identified.
“The last few weeks have seen record case numbers in the community across Dumfries and Galloway. The new Omicron variant of COVID-19 is very highly infectious, even more than the previous variant, which means that containing its spread is not easy – even when it is being met with all the correct protocols, including regular testing and vaccinations.
“The coronavirus can result in mild symptoms, and sometimes none at all, and this can mask its spread to more vulnerable individuals where it can pose a high degree of risk.
“It is still essential to follow the guidance around use of PPE such as face coverings, limiting social interactions, good hygiene and vaccination – but these are not by any means absolute guarantees of protection.
“It is essential that anyone experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID immediately self-isolates and arranges to be tested, and that they continue to self-isolate until they obtain a result.
“The symptoms of COVID-19 can be mild, but this does not reduce the level of risk to others from a virus with potentially serious health implications. If in any doubt at all, please immediately self-isolate, arrange to be tested and work with our Test and Protect team to help limit any further spread.
“The responsibility rests with every one of us to do our part to try and limit the spread of coronavirus, and protect ourselves, our loved ones, neighbours, colleagues and communities.”