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Twelve coronavirus cases linked to Highland pub The Mallard as health chiefs advise customers to get tested for Covid-19


By Hector MacKenzie

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The Mallard's landlord took the decision to voluntarily close when he became aware an infected customer had visited the premises on Friday, December 18.
The Mallard's landlord took the decision to voluntarily close when he became aware an infected customer had visited the premises on Friday, December 18.

TWELVE coronavirus cases have been linked to a Highland pub which closed voluntarily earlier this week.

Health bosses – who say they expect this number to increase – have advised anyone who visited the barlast Friday (December 18) to get tested.

As we reported earlier, the landlord of The Mallard in Dingwall, Sean Kennedy, took the decision to close voluntarily when he became aware that a customer who visited on that day had tested positive for Covid-19.

It has emerged people associated with what NHS Highand called "a small cluster" of cases had also visited two other premises the same night.

NHS Highland now says that at present, it is aware of 12 cases that are linked to The Mallard "but we would expect this to increase".

It said: "NHS Highland's health protection team is carrying out contact tracing and investigations are ongoing in conjunction with Highland Council's environmental health team. The pub closed voluntarily on Tuesday, December 22 and a deep clean was undertaken.

"As a precautionary measure we would ask customers who visited the Mallard Pub on Friday, December 18 to remain vigilant for the symptoms of Covid-19."

The typical symptoms of Covid-19 are:

• a new continuous cough and/or

• a high temperature or fever

• a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell

NHS Highland added: "However, people with Covid-19 can present with a wide range of symptoms including headache, sore muscles and joints, tiredness, sore throat, cold-like symptoms and diarrhoea and vomiting. Anyone that becomes unwell should isolate immediately and seek a test.

"Additionally, whilst we would not normally advise testing of people without symptoms, given the high number of cases linked to the outbreak, we would advise all customers who visited the pub on December 18 to get a test for Covid-19 in addition to remaining vigilant for symptoms. If symptoms were to develop at a later point, you should seek a further test."

And in a wider warning, it said: "We would also like to take this opportunity to remind everyone across Highland that we are seeing an increase in cases across the Highlands and that the safest way to spend Christmas is to spend this with your own household in your own home.

"Everyone should continue to adhere to physical distancing guidelines, wear a face-covering when in enclosed spaces, clean your hands and surfaces regularly and immediately self-isolate and seek a test if you develop symptoms."

On Wednesday, NHS Highland confirmed it was aware "of a small cluster" of positive Covid-19 cases that visited the Legion, Oscars and the Mallard pubs in Dingwall. It did not put a figure in the size of the cluster at that time.

It said its Health Protection Team is carrying out contact tracing and investigations are ongoing in conjunction with Highland Council’s environmental health team.

It added: "We would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that we are seeing an increase in cases across Highland and so everyone should continue to adhere to physical distancing guidelines, wear a face-covering when in enclosed spaces, clean your hands and surfaces regularly and immediately self-isolate and seek a test if you develop symptoms."

Highland Council confirmed its environmental health team is involved.

It said: "We are working closely with NHS Highland’s health protection team on their investigations. environmental health are liaising with the management of the businesses and they are being fully co-operative.

"The council is not able to provide any further details on case numbers but we understand further contract tracing is being conducted and we are continuing to work with the HPT to obtain all the track and trace details of anyone who has tested positive.

"We urge the public to not to let their guard down in terms of social distancing, hand washingand adhering to the guidance. The environmental health team are happy to provide advice to any businesses that have queries on the Covid19 guidance and recommend businesses email queries to envhealth@highland.gov.uk."

Further information on Covid-19 and how to access testing can be found at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

Related: Contact tracing under way after Covid-19 cluster identified


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