WATCH: Alderney warned of 'significant risk' of infection in the island

ALDERNEY residents have been warned that there is 'a significant risk that Covid-19 may be on the island'.

Although there are no known positive cases on the island at the moment, President William Tate was on the local radio station QuayFM this morning asking people not to panic or spread rumours on social media.

After speaking to the clinical director of the Island Medical Centre Dr Sally Simmons before his broadcast, he said some people on the island would be contacted by Guernsey's Public Health team, which is conducting an extensive track and trace programme following the increase of community cases in Guernsey in the past week.

Clinical director of the Island Medical Centre Dr Sally Simmons. Picture by Emma Pinch. (29187840)

'If you are contacted and you are told you are a contact then you must self-isolate for 14 days,' Mr Tate said.

'The work by Guernsey Public Health is supported by the IMC team.'

Anyone contacted will be tested.

Those who are contacts of the people being tested will not yet be called for testing.

Test samples are sent to Guernsey with results returned within 24 to 48 hours, depending on the weather.

IMC will schedule people to arrive for testing by car or taxi, if possible, during mornings as the swabs currently have to be sent by air.

Delays are, according to the States of Alderney, inevitable, but people must stay at home and isolate until their result is negative.

Anyone experiencing symptoms is asked to call the IMC immediately on 822077.

Advice previously has been to call the clinical hotline but Public Health Guernsey is currently 'extremely busy'.

President of the States of Alderney William Tate. (Picture by David Nash, 29187828)

Symptoms to look out for include new and severe fatigue, new muscle ache for no obvious reason, headache (sinus pain, pain around eyes), loss of smell/taste, sore throat, fever (high temperature, rigors, chills, can’t get warm), shortness of breath and chest tightness, continuous new cough.

In children or the elderly, loose stools, mild fever and a developing cough are additional symptoms.

Testing for people with symptoms is either a drive-through at the IMC or at the hospital.

All of the island’s doctors have received both doses of the vaccine and medical staff have the latest PPE, but anyone attending the IMC or the hospital should wear a face mask.

Urgent cases are being dealt with by the IMC but consideration is being given to which other patients can be seen at another time.

Alderney. (29187837)

Those with acute symptoms such as a sudden onset of pain should contact the IMC immediately or, if the condition is severe, call an ambulance.

Mr Tate also confirmed that wearing a face covering, although not mandatory, was recommended in enclosed spaces or where other people are likely to be, for their own protection and the protection of others. Social distancing must also be maintained.

He asked islanders not to speculate.

'Don’t listen to rumour and certainly don’t pass it on,' he said, urging people to take a 'grown-up approach', trust the professionals and wait until the accurate information is available.

'Yes we may have a problem but we don’t have to be overly concerned because the right processes are in place.'

For more information and guidance visit www.covid19.gov.gg or www.alderney.gov.gg where the latest media information will be posted.

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