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Five Omicron coronavirus cases confirmed in Forth Valley

Five cases of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus have been confirmed in the Forth Valley.

Health bosses haven’t revealed where, but across Scotland there are now 29 cases of the new variant.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that six are linked to the Steps concern which took place at the Hydro in Glasgow two weeks ago.

NHS Forth Valley’s Director of Public Health, Dr Graham Foster, is urging local people across Forth Valley to remain extra vigilant, take Covid-19 tests and get vaccinated following the confirmation.

Contact tracing is now underway to identify any contacts of the confirmed cases who will be advised to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of their vaccination status.

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Dr Foster said: “We don’t yet know enough about this new variant so it is important to remain cautious and do everything we can to minimise the risk of spreading infection.

“This includes keeping a safe distance from others, testing yourself regularly for Covid-19 before mixing with people from other households – whether that is in a pub, a restaurant, a house or a shopping centre, wearing a face mask and improving ventilation by opening windows at home, work and in cars.

“Free lateral flow tests are widely available from local Covid-19 testing centres and pharmacies or can be ordered online for home delivery.

“Regular testing is particularly important over the next few weeks in the run up to Christmas as people start to socialise more and mix with friends and family from other households. If you have any symptoms of Covid-19 you should order or book a PCR test and self-isolate until you know your results.”

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