The number of coronavirus cases in Oxfordshire is continuing to rise.
In the 7 days up to 21 August, there have been 86 confirmed cases in Oxfordshire, which is an increase from 65 cases in the previous week.
The majority of the new cases are in Oxford, where the number has risen from 28 to 41. The increase is predominantly among young people in the 18-29 age bracket. The increase can be partly attributed to people returning from holidays in Europe, where cases of the virus are rising, and partly to lower levels of adherence to social distancing.
The weekly rate for Oxford currently stands at 26.9 cases per 100,000 population, which means the city is moving ever closer to figures in parts of the country that have been labelled by central Government as areas of concern or that require intervention. Oxfordshire’s Public Health Surveillance Unit is monitoring the situation very closely. If cases continue to rise, then local control measures may be introduced.
Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire County Council’s Director for Public Health, said: “My appeal to everyone in Oxford is to remember what got us out of lockdown. Do we really want to end up with the kind of local control measures we have seen introduced in various parts of Lancashire, Yorkshire, Leicester and Aberdeen?
“At the minute it feels like we are moving in that direction. People need to be aware their behaviour is putting themselves and others at risk. If you’re young and catch COVID-19, you’re absolutely not guaranteed to get away with the mildest symptoms. Even mild symptoms are a struggle, while longer-term symptoms can include chronic fatigue, muscle weakness and memory loss.
“Equally you may well pass this onto older or more vulnerable people. How would you feel if you knew that someone was in hospital in a ventilator with their life under threat because you’d passed COVID-19 on to them?
“Now is the time to act to #stopthespread. I’ve said it over and over – this whole situation is in our own hands. We all need to act responsibly and follow the very simple advice. If we do that collectively, we will reverse this upward trend that we are seeing in Oxford. If we don’t bring the infection rate under control then measures will be introduced of the kind we’ve seen elsewhere in the country. It’s that simple.”
Mobile testing unit in Cowley
As part of this effort, and on request of Oxfordshire’s Director of Public Health, a mobile testing unit (MTU) is being deployed in Oxford for three days from tomorrow (Friday) until Sunday, 10am-4.30pm. The MTU will be sited on the car park in Union Street, just off Cowley Road, behind Tesco.
People are able to drive or walk to the site, but are strongly encouraged to book first by calling 119 or registering online at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. The facility is designed for people who have symptoms.
Please let your staff and community members know about the testing facility. Anyone with symptoms should be self-isolating, but they can attend the MTU for a test to see if they have the virus.
Getting tested will help us contain the spread of the virus, by isolating people with the infection to prevent them from spreading it in the community. It is vital that anyone who suspects they may have the virus isolates and gets tested, to prevent wider restrictions being introduced.
You can find out more about how to keep yourself safe, and the latest number of cases in Oxfordshire, at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/stopthespread
Michael Woods | Green Space Development Officer | Community Services | Oxford City Council | PO Box SA 3.11 | St Aldate’s Chambers , 109-113 St Aldate’s, Oxford OX1 1DS | 01865 529089 firstname.lastname@example.org