Health information and advice on Omicron Variant
NHS Forth Valley’s Director of Public Health, Dr Graham Foster, is urging local people across Forth Valley to remain extra vigilant, take Covid-19 tests and get vaccinated after a small number of cases of the new Omicron variant were confirmed in Forth Valley.
Contact tracing is now underway to identify any contacts of the confirmed cases who will be advised to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of their vaccination status.
Dr Foster said: “We don’t yet know enough about this new variant so it is important to remain cautious and do everything we can to minimise the risk of spreading infection. This includes keeping a safe distance from others, testing yourself regularly for Covid-19 before mixing with people from other households – whether that is in a pub, a restaurant, a house or a shopping centre, wearing a face mask and improving ventilation by opening windows at home, work and in cars.
“Free lateral flow tests are widely available from local Covid-19 testing centres and pharmacies or can be ordered online for home delivery. Regular testing is particularly important over the next few weeks in the run up to Christmas as people start to socialise more and mix with friends and family from other households. If you have any symptoms of Covid-19 you should order or book a PCR test and self-isolate until you know your results.”
Dr Foster also highlighted the importance of vaccination in the ongoing battle against Covid-19 and encouraged people to get vaccinated to help protect themselves against the virus. He explained: “Although we need to understand more about how effective the vaccine is against the new variant, we know it is extremely effective against existing variants which make up the overwhelming majority of Covid-19 cases across Scotland.
“If you haven’t already had either your first or second Covid-19 vaccination please attend one of our local drop-in vaccination clinics and if you are eligible for your booster, which is currently being offered to everyone aged 40 and over, please book an appointment now by calling the national vaccination helpline on 0800 030 8013.”
- NHS Inform website: https://www.nhsinform.scot/
- National Covid-19 Vaccine Booking Line: 0800 030 8013
- Details of local drop-in vaccination clinics for first or second Covid-19 vaccinations can be found on the NHS Forth Valley website www.nhsforthvalley.com/covid
- National vaccine and booster booking portal for health and social care workers: https://www.nhsinform.scot/flu-vaccine/invitations-and-appointments/book-a-flu-or-coronavirus-booster-vaccination
- Order lateral flow tests online: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing/regular-rapid-coronavirus-tests-if-you-do-not-have-symptoms/
- Book a PCR test: https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19/test-and-protect/coronavirus-covid-19-testing/