PARTS of Helensburgh and Lomond have the highest Covid-19 infection rate of any neighbourhood in Argyll and Bute, new figures have revealed.

An online map giving details of coronavirus cases in communities throughout Scotland over a rolling seven-day period allows people to keep a daily record of areas’ Covid-19 infection rates.

For the seven days from October 3 to October 9 the neighbourhood with the highest infection rate in Argyll and Bute was Garelochhead, which also takes in the whole of the Rosneath peninsula as well as Faslane and Coulport.

But infection rates across Helensburgh and Lomond, and the wider Argyll and Bute area, remain low compared to the rest of the country.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Map shows location of hotspots in Helensburgh

In the Garelochhead data region there were 10 positive cases in the seven days until Sunday, from a population of 6,677 – a rate of 149.8 per 100,000 of population.

The online counter does not give precise numbers where there were fewer than five positive cases in a neighbourhood.

Eleven other areas in Argyll and Bute, including Lomond Shore (which covers Luss and Cardross), had no cases at all, while Helensburgh East, Helensburgh West and Rhu, Helensburgh Centre and Cowal North – the latter also including Arrochar and Tarbet – had between one and four positive cases. According to the data, Helensburgh North had seven positive cases; a rate of 166.1 per 100,000 of population.

Across all of Argyll and Bute there were 38 positive cases during those seven days, a rate of 44.3 per 100,000 people. That figure has risen from 40.8 per 100,000 of population the previous week.

By comparison, in West Dunbartonshire, where the infection rate is once again rising, the rate for the week to October 9 was 150.7 per 100,000 people, and there were 134 positive cases.

Meanwhile, the rise in demand for coronavirus tests has prompted Helensburgh’s MSP, Jackie Baillie, to ask the Scottish Government to increase testing provision in the area.

READ MORE: How, where and when to access a coronavirus test in Helensburgh

Ms Baillie said that on the days that testing was available in Helensburgh, demand rose from zero tests on July 20 to a peak of 288 tests on September 7.

In Dumbarton, 22 tests were carried out on the first day that access was available on September 3, but that number rose to 197 just two weeks later.

A mobile unit run by the Scottish Ambulance Service visits Helensburgh every Monday and Thursday, while a similar unit is in Dumbarton every second day.

There is also a full-time regional test site at Glasgow Airport, but Ms Baillie says “constant, easy access to testing is the only way that we can hope of fighting this virus and keeping ourselves and others safe”.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We deploy mobile test units to sites in agreement with local and regional resilience partnerships who work closely with local public health teams and local authorities to identify locations either where there is specific need for testing to manage outbreaks and clusters or to widen community access to testing.

“Alternatively, home test kits are available through the UK Expanded Testing Programme and can be booked via the UK online digital portal.”

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