Coronavirus outbreak linked to Aberdeen pub rises to 32 cases

4 August 2020, 16:37

The cases are linked to the Hawthorn Bar in Aberdeen
The cases are linked to the Hawthorn Bar in Aberdeen. Picture: Google

By Ewan Somerville

The number of coronavirus cases linked to a cluster in Aberdeen has risen to 32. 

NHS Grampian said the number of positive Covid-19 tests following an outbreak at The Hawthorn Bar, Holburn Street, had jumped by five - from 27 on Monday. 

Test and trace staff have identified 120 close contacts linked to the cluster, but warned more may be detected.

The pub said the outbreak was linked to customers who visited on 26 July.

Dr Emmanuel Okpo, consultant in public health medicine, said: "I know this is a concerning time for people in Grampian.

"I want to stress again that only people with symptoms of Covid-19 should arrange a test.

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"Getting a 'not-detected' result when you do not have symptoms does not mean that you are 'safe' as the virus can take several days to develop.

"It also does not mean that you can avoid self-isolation if you are identified as a close contact of a detected case."

Officials said they are aware some bars in Aberdeen have announced their intention to close, including the city's Soul Bar, owned by PB Devco, after discovering one of the infected drinkers had visited the premises.

NHS Grampian said environmental health officers from Aberdeen City Council are contacting pubs and bars in the city to stress the need for coronavirus social distancing and safety measures. 

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The Scottish Government could consider placing a legal obligation on pubs and other hospitality venues in order to gather contact information from customers.

Ms Sturgeon earlier warned employers that testing staff who were found to be close contacts of a positive case is not an alternative to self-isolation.

Deputy director of public health for NHS Grampian, Chris Littlejohn, said: “I would encourage the general public to stick with the facts of this case. I understand the desire to pinpoint a person or place responsible for this cluster.“

However, it is important to realise that this virus is circulating in the community. Anyone could contract it, and anyone could infect others. We all need to take responsibility for our own behaviour.”