Health officials have said a growing cluster of coronavirus cases identified in the Western Isles can only be contained if people follow the rules.

The health board has confirmed that four additional individuals have been confirmed as positive for the Covid-19 virus - with close contacts including care home staff and nursery school staff.

That means the total number of people identified as having the virus in the Uists is at seven.

NHS Western Isles has confirmed all seven individuals are self isolating at home and none have required hospital care.

The individuals infected are from the southern part of the Uists.

Meanwhile, Test and Protect actions are underway and contact tracing is ongoing.

Close contacts have also been advised to self-isolate and other identified contacts are being followed up and given appropriate advice.  

A Problem Assessment Group (PAG) met on Friday and is working with Scottish Government, and Public Health Scotland to provide advice and support.

The local Problem Assessment Group (PAG) has advised testing of all staff and residents of the Taigh a'Chridhe Uile Naomh carehome.

READ MORE: New coronavirus cases confirmed in Western isles

The care home has suspended admissions, discharges and visiting for the present. 

Care home staff are routinely tested, however, on the advice of the local Health Protection Team, both residents and employees are currently being tested or re-tested.

All appropriate actions to ensure the continued safety of residents and employees of the care home are being taken in line with Scottish Government and Health Protection guidance and advice, and all staff, residents and residents’ families will continue to be kept informed.

NHS Western Isles continues to work closely with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

In addition, due to nursery staff being identified as close contacts and asked to self-isolate for 14 days, Cothrom Nursery has also been closed until further notice.

NHS Western Isles Director of Public Health, Dr Maggie Watts said: “The individuals involved have been asked to self isolate for ten days from onset of symptoms and we are tracing all their contacts, who are also being advised to self isolate, for fourteen days, from the date of their last contact with the case as a precaution.

"We would like to stress that individuals who have been identified as close contacts and advised by the Test and Protect team to self isolate should complete their period of self isolation, even if they subsequently have a test for COVID-19 and test negative.

“To respect and maintain patient confidentiality, we will not be releasing any further details at this time.”

“We would like to reassure our local communities and visitors to the island that we are taking all necessary steps to contain the virus but it is vital that everyone in the Western Isles follows the current Scottish Government restrictions and FACTS guidance to limit any spread of the virus.”

NHS Western Isles Chief Executive, Gordon Jamieson, said: “Our staff are working extremely hard in terms of Test and Protect.

"If we are to be able to contain and suppress this outbreak, people must follow the rules.

"COVID-19 thrives on complacency.

“Follow the FACTS guidance below. You should not meet with anyone from outside your household socially indoors in your home or their home (this applies to all age groups but with the exception of extended households).

"Please also ensure that you maintain good respiratory hygiene - cough or sneeze into a tissue and dispose of the tissue in a bin, or alternatively cough/sneeze into your elbow.

“We would further advise that individuals do not car share, unless absolutely necessary; and disposable gloves should not be worn when shopping (hand sanitizer should be used before and after shopping and you should only touch items that you wish to buy).”