Public Health Scotland has just published the latest data on Covid-19 in Scotland. There is acaveat with the figures which states that the number of daily cases includes some test results processed more than 48 hours ago.
Both the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, and the Health Minister, Humza Yousaf, were “pinged” by the NHS app over the weekend. Ms Sturgeon received a negative test result on Monday and is no longer self-isolating. Humza Yousaf will also take a PCR test as will Finance Secretary, Kate Forbes, who has also been in close proximity to someone who has Covid-19. Ms Forbes has not yet been double vaccinated however and will have to self-isolate for a little longer than the others.
It is clear that the number of positive cases is still rising towards 500,000 since the pandemic began, and that there are more people in ICU and in hospital.
If you wish to see the figures up to 3 August for each day (with some highs and lows from the past few months) then please read this article here, but for the sake of brevity this article now has August information only.
Scotland has now moved beyond Level 0 but the legal requirement for wearing masks in indoor settings is to be retained largely as it has been.
Deaths involving Covid-19 for Week 33: 16 – 22 August 2021
As at 22 August, 10,505 deaths have been registered in Scotland where the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was mentioned on the death certificate, according to statistics published today by National Records of Scotland (NRS).
In the week 16 – 22 August, 41 deaths were registered that mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate, the same number as last week.
12 deaths were of people aged under 65, six were people aged 65-74 and there were 23 deaths of people aged 75 or over. 28 deaths were male, 13 were female.
City of Edinburgh, Fife, Scottish Borders and South Lanarkshire had the highest numbers of deaths at council level last week with four each. In total, 20 council areas had at least one death last week.
The number of deaths from all causes registered in Scotland in this week was 1,163 – 171, or 17%, more than the five year average.
Pete Whitehouse, Director of Statistical Services, said: “The latest figures show that last week there were 41 deaths where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. This represents no change from the previous week.”
“Deaths from all causes were 17% higher than the five year average – the 13th week in a row where we have seen a higher than average number of deaths.”
Beyond Level 0
The legal requirement for physical distancing and limits on gatherings has been removed from Monday 9 August when all venues across Scotland are able to re-open.
Some protective measures will stay in place such as the use of face coverings indoors and the collection of contact details as part of Test and Protect. Capacity limits of 2000 people indoors and 5000 people outdoors will also remain in place although some exceptions may be possible on a case by case basis. These will be reviewed on a three weekly basis to ensure they remain proportionate.
Adults identified as close contacts of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 will also no longer be automatically required to self-isolate for 10 days from 9 August. Anyone who is double-vaccinated with at least two weeks passed since their second dose and who has no symptoms will be able to end self-isolation if they return a negative PCR test. The same conditions will also apply to anyone aged between five and 17 years old, even if they have not been vaccinated. The requirement to take a PCR test will not apply to children under the age of five.
Test and Protect will also implement revised guidance for under 18s. This means that the blanket isolation of whole classes in schools will no longer happen and a targeted approach, that only identifies children and young people who are higher risk close contacts, will be adopted. Fewer young people will have to self-isolate, and most will be asked to self-isolate for a much shorter period of time. To allow time to monitor the impacts of these changes, the majority of the mitigations that were in place in schools in the previous term will be retained for up to six weeks. This will help support a safe and sustainable return to education after the summer break.
While the gateway condition on vaccination has been met, with 92% of those over the age of 40 protected by two doses of the vaccine, there are still many more people who have not had the vaccine, cannot have it, or are not yet eligible for it. Invitations for vaccines are now going out to 12 to 17 year olds with specific health conditions that make them more vulnerable to Covid. This follows the recent advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. The government expects to have offered first doses to this group by the end of August.
The JCVI has now recommended vaccination to young people aged 16 and 17.