Covid-19 in Moray "well under control" as incident management team closed
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THE incident management team overseeing the Covid-19 outbreak in Moray has been closed with the situation now "well under control".
This means testing and vaccination programmes in the area will return to normal, with only people showing classic Covid-19 symptoms to get a PCR test.
The decision was taken following a sustained drop in the number of coronavirus cases in Moray over the last two weeks.
The region dropped to level two of coronavirus restrictions last week – but extra testing and an expedited vaccine rollout remained in place while public health bosses kept a close eye on figures, which they are now happy with.
Deputy director of public health at NHS Grampian, Chris Littlejohn, thanked the community for their efforts in helping Moray get the outbreak under control.
He said: "The turnaround we have seen in Moray has been extraordinary and that is wholly down to residents being willing to work with us, come forward for extra testing, vaccinations and follow guidelines.
"The drop in case rates is an incredibly positive story. We have not seen a decline like this without a full lockdown before. How the public responded and acted was the reason that happened.
"People coming forward to be tested for the first time increased six-fold, 80 per cent of 40 to 49 years olds (who hadn't been vaccinated earlier due to health or work reasons) have now had their first dose of the vaccine, for those aged 30 to 39 it’s 68.7 per cent and for 18 to 29 year olds it’s 70.2 per cent. These figures are incredible and show the way the public has worked with us.
“In Moray over the last six weeks, 50 per cent of cases identified were asymptomatic. These are individuals who could unwittingly have been spreading the virus had they not come forward for testing and that helped us break the chains of transmission.
“I’d like to thank the public, without their efforts Moray would most likely still be in level three; the testing and vaccinations teams for their tireless work; Moray Council; and other organisations including VisitMoray Speyside, who worked with us.
"Health boards cannot combat these types of outbreaks alone, it takes a community.”
Earlier this month, Moray had the highest level of Covid-19 in the country with more than 100 cases per 100,000 – but those numbers have now dropped to around 12 per 100,000, with the region is now seeing its lowest rates since before Christmas.
But Mr Littlejohn warned that people cannot afford to become complacent and urged residents to continue to follow guidelines.
He added: “The risk in Moray is now broadly the same as other level two areas.
"We need to remember this is still an infectious virus, with more transmissible variants being passed around in some parts of the country.
"There is little certainty about how they affect serious illness, hospitalisation, long Covid and death.
“We saw with this outbreak how quickly things can escalate and how quickly it can affect the level system.
"To each individual in the north-east, I’d ask you please follow the guidelines and that you use your own judgement – especially when travelling.
"Protect each other and protect Grampian.”