People in Oxfordshire are being asked to take extra care and accept the offer of first and second vaccinations as cases in the county reach heights not seen since the winter.
Cases have risen from 21.1 cases per 100,000 in late May to 101.8 cases per 100,000 in the week ending 25 June. The largest number of cases remain in people aged below 30, with 20 to 29-year olds accounting for 46 per cent of all new cases. All people aged 18 and above are now eligible to receive their first jab.
Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire County Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “Cases have risen by 66 per cent in the last week alone and are now uncomfortably high in the county. Geographically the largest numbers are in Oxford City, where the weekly rate is currently 181 per 100,000.
“Without the vaccine the rate would be much higher and we urge everyone aged 18 and over to come forward and get the jab to give themselves the best levels of protection possible. You can book an appointment through the national NHS booking service, take up an invitation from your GP or attend one of the pop-up clinics in Oxford.
“We are seeing a large number of young people come forward for their vaccine, which is really encouraging. But it’s worth reminding everyone that the first dose doesn’t start offering notable protection until two weeks after the jab has been administered and you must have two doses of the vaccine to receive full protection.
“We also ask people to keep up with their twice-weekly lateral flow testing and getting a PCR test if they develop any symptoms. Please wear face coverings in appropriate circumstances and stick to hands, face, space and fresh air. That advice applies particularly to those younger age groups where COVID levels are so high.
“We can’t say these things often enough. The summer holidays are on the horizon but if people catch COVID or are in contact with someone who has COVID, they still need to self-isolate for 10 days and this potentially could badly affect any plans they may have.
“We haven’t seen cases this high either locally or nationally since those winter months before the vaccines had begun to be administered in large numbers. The Delta variant is undoubtedly enjoying the closer social contact that is going on and case levels are on a steep trajectory. My appeal would be for people to remain cautious and aware. The chances of catching COVID are greater now than at any time since the winter. Get tested, get vaccinated and take great care when you are out and about. Such care doesn’t just protect you – it protects your friends, family and colleagues too.”
In Henley Crockers Restaurant in Market Place had to close yesterday because they have been linked to a single case of COVID-19 by NHS Test and Trace, and their team have been instructed to self-isolate. They currently plan to re-open on Friday 9th July. If you have a reservation, between now and then, the team will be in touch via email.
In South Oxfordshire, there have been 200 cases, up 100 cases from the week before and in Henley there have been 9 cases up to 25 June.