THE number of infections identified in a coronavirus cluster in the Western Isles has doubled overnight.

Health bosses confirmed the 'outbreak', in South Uist, now has 14 positive cases - up from seven on Sunday evening.

All schools in Uist have been closed for the next three days as a precaution, until test results "give a clear picture", according to the council.

A nursery in South Uist was closed on Sunday due to a number of staff being identified as close contacts, and asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

READ MORE: Scotland records 1000 cases in two days as FM issues warning

Meanwhile, the Taigh a'Chridhe Uile Naomh care home has suspended admissions, discharges and visiting temporarily. 

Care home staff are routinely tested, however, on the advice of the local Health Protection Team, both residents and employees are currently being tested or re-tested.

The increase in the number of cases has been described as "significant" by NHS Western Isles chief executive, Gordon Jamieson.

He appealed to residents in a video message to follow current guidance in order to get the outbreak under control.

Mr Jamieson said: "We have unfortunately had a significant increase in the number of positive Covid-19 cases in South Uist.

"We now have 14 positive cases, with further tests being processed as I speak.

"I am appealing to you - please - to follow the rules. We must get this outbreak under control and suppressed.

"Please follow the rules, please limit your contact with other households, please wear face masks and coverings, physically distance, please wash your hands, and take care with your respiratory hygiene, and also, please do not car share across homes.

"Above all, if you have symptoms, please do not leave your house - book a test, and only leave your house to have that test. Please do this, we must suppress and control this virus."

Local authority Comhairle nan Eilean Siar closed all schools for three days.

A council spokesman said: “In light of information received on potential school-related cases, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has taken the decision to close all schools in Uist for the next three days, as a precautionary measure, until test results give a clear picture.

“The Comhairle will review the situation on a daily basis.”

A message has gone out to all parents informing them of the closures.

On Sunday, NHS Western Isles director of public health Dr Maggie Watts said: “The individuals involved have been asked to self isolate for ten days from onset of symptoms and we are tracing all their contacts, who are also being advised to self isolate, for fourteen days, from the date of their last contact with the case as a precaution.

"We would like to stress that individuals who have been identified as close contacts and advised by the Test and Protect team to self isolate should complete their period of self isolation, even if they subsequently have a test for COVID-19 and test negative.

“To respect and maintain patient confidentiality, we will not be releasing any further details at this time.”

“We would like to reassure our local communities and visitors to the island that we are taking all necessary steps to contain the virus but it is vital that everyone in the Western Isles follows the current Scottish Government restrictions and FACTS guidance to limit any spread of the virus.”

NHS Western Isles Chief Executive, Gordon Jamieson, said: “Our staff are working extremely hard in terms of Test and Protect.

"If we are to be able to contain and suppress this outbreak, people must follow the rules.

"COVID-19 thrives on complacency.