NHS Fife is reminding local people of the importance of sticking with the national COVID-19 control measures after a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases across the Kingdom.

There has been a rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 clusters across Fife over recent weeks including those associated with educational settings, workplaces and individual households.

The Test and Protect programme in Fife is playing a crucial role in reducing the spread of COVID-19 by quickly and effectively tracing the contacts of those who are confirmed as carrying the virus, and instructing them to isolate for 14 days to prevent onward transmission. Contact tracing is a tried and tested method of reducing the spread of communicable viruses such as COVID-19 and has been used successfully over recent weeks in order to reduce transmission of the virus.

In an effort to support the reduction of COVID-19 cases locally, NHS Fife is launching the new ‘Stick With It’ campaign urging Fifers to follow the national control measures in place to reduce the numbers of those contracting the virus.

On the increasing numbers of COVID-19 in the Kingdom, NHS Fife Director of Public Health, Dona Milne, said:  

“COVID-19 can potentially be deadly and over recent weeks we have seen a particularly sharp and significant increase in the number of positive cases locally.

“There is clear evidence that both gatherings involving multiple households and the sharing of vehicles have accelerated the spread of the virus in Fife. This has resulted in many more people contracting COVID-19, and a small number of people requiring admission to hospital as a result. Furthermore, an even greater number of close contacts have been required to self-isolate for 14 days to assist the efforts to contain the virus, causing considerable disruption to households across Fife and preventing many people from being able to attend school or work.”

Self-isolating remains a vital part of reducing the transmission of COVID-19 in Fife. Those asked to isolate must stay at home for a full 14 days after contact with a positive case, however, other household members do not need to isolate unless they too are identified as a contact. In cases involving school pupils, only those children identified as a contact of a positive case need to isolate and any other siblings should continue to attend school as normal.

It remains crucial that anyone experiencing the known symptoms of COVID-19, such as a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, isolates immediately and arranges to be tested using the UK Government Citizens’ Portal or by calling 0800 028 2816.

Dona Milne added:

“COVID-19 is often spread by those with little or no symptoms at all.

“If we are to protect the most vulnerable in our communities avoid further restrictions like we have seen in other parts of Scotland, then we must continue to take the virus seriously. We need people to stick with the rules around gatherings, avoid sharing vehicles with those outwith our own households, avoid crowded places where possible, and wear face coverings where physical distancing is difficult.”