TWENTY-THREE new cases of COVID-19 were identified during the four-day mass testing for residents of Langholm and Eskdale.
A total of 1,179 people were tested at the Kilngreen from Saturday to Tuesday, while others used home-testing kits or travelled to other places such as Annan or Carlisle.
The response by residents was described as “very good” by Valerie White, NHS Dumfries & Galloway’s interim director of public health.
She said: “The people, who tested positive, and their close contacts are now being advised to self-isolate to bring down the spike in cases.”
The community testing was in response to a rise in cases in DG13 and DG14, with 117 since the start of the year in an area with an estimated population of 3,700.
A very sincere apology is extended to people for the problems which arose on the first day of testing and meant some people, who made appointments, could not be tested.
Issues arose at the national testing unit at Langholm on the availability of testing kits and this resulted in shortages towards the end of the day on Saturday.
The health authority took this up with its national testing colleagues and this was rectified for the other three days of testing.
The testing gives results for a specific point in time so everyone in DG13 and DG14 is reminded to remain on their guard, follow the national guidance and, if symptoms develop, immediately self-isolate and arrange a test.
Ms White said: “This testing was made possible through the availability of this trial national testing unit, the scale of the testing undertaken in this focused area and the fantastic response from the community.
“The lesson from this will inform future approaches to testing for COVID-19.
“A sincere thanks to everyone who came forward to be tested.”
There were mixed reports on social media from people who had booked appointments at the Kilngreen.
On the first day, some residents, who had booked, arrived later in the afternoon to be told there were no more kits left.
It was reported that was because some people, who just turned up, were tested, even though they didn’t have an appointment.
Some were told they didn’t need to make another appointment but just turn up the next day.
Other people were told they didn’t need to make an appointment and to just turn up whenever they wanted.
Some residents, when they tried to make an appointment for the Kilngreen, were told none was available and they should book one in Annan or Hawick. Some took the option of ordering a home testing kit.
As a token of the valley’s appreciation to all the testers, who spent four days at the Kilngreen in very cold conditions, a Langholm resident organised a donation of treats for them.
Ros Collins contacted the Co-op which willingly stepped in to donate a lovely hamper of chocolates, biscuits and other goodies, along with bottles of water.
The hamper was donated by John Galloway, chairman of Langholm, Ewes and Westerkirk community council on Tuesday.
According to the latest figures available, cases in Langholm and Eskdale are now the highest in Annandale and Eskdale.
In the seven days up to last Saturday the number of positive cases rose to 41, up from 26 in the previous seven days.
That’s a rate of 1,095 per 100,000 population.
This is far higher than any other neighbourhoods in the district.
The cases in the rest of the district were: Annandale East 3; Gretna 8; Eastriggs 13; Annan East 10; Annandale West 3; Lochmaben 0-2; Lockerbie 3; and Moffat 4.
Dumfries and Galloway recorded 277 cases, 186 per 100,000 population. In Scotland there were 9,447 cases, a rate of 173 per 100,000 population.