Stirling on level 4 watch list with COVID cases on the rise

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Council leader urges residents to stick to government guidelines as the city sees sharp uptick in cases.

Scott Farmer, head of the Stirling Council, has said that Stirling’s position in the Forth Valley region has gone from one of lowest concern to the highest during the pandemic.

Currently in level 3 of the Scottish government’s 5-tier scale, the area is being monitored for a potential shift to Level 4 restrictions.

NHS Forth Valley’s daily figures show 3,398 total cases on the November 14, up from 2,979 on the November 6.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney revealed on Friday that “active consideration” is ongoing as to whether several areas of Scotland should be placed into the highest level of restrictions, mentioning Stirling as an area displaying a large spike in infections.

Farmer said: “The virus is entering our schools, care homes and communities. People are still losing their lives, their loved ones and their jobs.

“Our fear is that a lack of compliance with the national guidance is allowing the virus to take hold again, so we owe it to each other to take a step back and ask ourselves – are we really doing all we can as individuals, families and communities to stop the spread?”

He added: “The restrictions we are currently under are incredibly difficult for us all, but they serve to protect us, and if they’re ignored then the ripple effect can spread far beyond our own households.

“We’re at a crucial point in our battle to contain this lethal virus and I’m pleading with the people of Stirling – prove our community spirit to the rest of Scotland and let’s take responsibility for protecting each other.”

A mobile Covid-19 testing unit was also announced at the briefing on Friday for Bannockburn, Plean, and Cowie, which have also seen a rise in infections.

The unit has been set up this weekend at Bannockburn High School, before its scheduled route around community venues in the coming week.

Dr Henry Prempeh, NHS Forth Valley consultant in public health, commented: “This is a precautionary measure but one which we feel is essential due to Bannockburn and these surrounding areas being such close-knit communities. I would encourage local people to book a test even if they currently feel well as there is evidence that some people can have Covid-19 without displaying any of the common symptoms.” 

The health board’s director of public health, Dr Graham Foster, said the number of infections had not fallen as expected under level 3 restrictions as hoped, adding: “This is partly due to an increase in cases in care homes however we need everyone to pull together and carefully follow the guidance if we are to limit the spread of this virus.”

Stirling joins areas within NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde on the watch list for Level 4 restrictions.

The move would result in closures of gyms, restaurants, and any other non-essential businesses.

Featured image credit: Tam Wai | Unsplash

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