Public health experts at NHS Grampian have warned Moray is now seeing “uncontrolled, sustained community transmission” of Covid-19.

With an escalating number of cases in the region, an incident management team has now been launched in an effort to bring the virus back under control.

The region now has 81.4 cases per 100,000 – East Dunbartonshire has the second highest with 41.4, while neighbouring Aberdeenshire and Highland are at 11.

Deputy director of Public Health at NHS Grampian, chairman for the IMT [Incident Management Team], Chris Littlejohn said: “In Moray we are now seeing uncontrolled, sustained community transmission, current restrictions not are containing it, and the situation is rapidly deteriorating.

"We are seeing hospitalisations from this – including in the under 50s – and we will see deaths, if the situation is not brought under control."

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Mr Littlejohn encouraged everyone in the area, regardless to get tested. 

He added: “Although Elgin is the epicentre of the spread, we are now seeing rising levels in places including Lossiemouth, Buckie and Keith.

“We are writing to businesses encouraging them to support us in getting the workforce tested, we are deploying extra mobile testing units and we are continuing with our enhanced testing in the region.

“As a next step we are heavily considering door-to-door testing in Elgin and look at how we can facilitate that.

“Since April 10 we have seen 210 cases in Moray. More than half of those have come in the last eight days alone. This is a rapidly accelerating situation.

“Test positivity in Moray is at 3.2% - across Scotland that figure is close to just 1% - and the R-rate in Moray is at 1.8, so every person in Moray that becomes infected is, on average, passing it on to two other people.

“Analytics have shown us many people in the region have returned to their workplaces, rather than working from home.

"It remains the advice people should work from home where possible and we really need people to do that, where they can.”

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Extra testing is being put in place with a mobile testing unit (MTU) due to begin operation at Elgin Academy from tomorrow morning. Parents had previously been advised it would arrive next week.

The MTU will provide PCR testing for staff and pupils on school days and be open to the public during the weekend.

MTUs will also be visiting towns and villages around the region in the coming days.

Details on dates and times will be published shortly online and across social media.

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NHS Grampian is continuing to ask anyone in Moray with any symptoms of illness, not just those of Covid-19 – including headaches, diarrhoea, sore throat, runny nose - to isolate and book a test immediately.

People without symptoms are continuing to be asked to take up asymptomatic testing.

For the latest information on testing in Moray or to book a test visit