The increase in cases is largely contained to Oxford city, where the number of new cases has risen approximately threefold to 31 over the most recent week up to 24 July. The majority of these new cases are in East Oxford.
Local increases are to be expected as we ease out of lockdown, particularly in densely populated urban areas. This is consistent with the picture across other parts of the country, and Oxford is no exception.
But with more events and gatherings set to take place over the coming weeks, such as Eid celebrations and a range of fairs across Oxfordshire, the Director of Public Health Ansaf Azhar is keen to stress the need for everyone to maintain social distancing and stay alert.
“It is up to each of us to stop the virus spreading - our safety is literally in our own hands”, says Ansaf. “Make sure you wash your hands regularly, avoid busy gatherings, keep your distance and wear a face covering where appropriate. And if you have any coronavirus symptoms, you must self-isolate immediately and call 119 to book a test.
“We have seen other towns, such as Oldham and Northampton, put local control measures in place when faced with a spike in cases, such as limiting the number of people who can meet. We are not yet in this position. But we are monitoring the situation very closely and we will put measures in place if the number of new cases continues to rise.
“We have clear systems in place through our Local Outbreak Plans to manage any local transmission hotspots. However, prevention is by far the best way to manage the situation, and the public have a vital role to play in preventing local outbreaks. My advice is simple – act now to protect yourself, protect your community, and stop the spread.”
You can find out more about how to keep yourself safe and the measures in place to stop the spread of the virus at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/stopthespread.
Published: Jul 29, 2020