Be cautious and responsible as the battle with COVID continues

People in Oxfordshire are being asked to be cautious as they go about their daily lives, with 1,517 cases of COVID reported across the county in the week ending August 6.

Although cases in Oxford City and West Oxfordshire have continued to decline, there are now signs that they are rising again in Cherwell, South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse.

A national change in rules is expected to take effect on 16 August as regards self-isolation for fully vaccinated people.

Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire County Council’s Director for Public Health, said: “We’ve seen a gradual relaxation in rules relating to COVID during the summer and people are now able to enjoy many of the freedoms that were part of daily life up until March 2020.

“The number of COVID cases being reported locally and nationally is lower than the peak that was reached in mid-July. However it is still significantly higher than the levels we observed during the spring and early summer.

“COVID is still very much out there – people are being hospitalised with it and sadly deaths are still being reported.

“My overall message to the people of Oxfordshire is that we are not out of the woods and life cannot yet be considered to have fully returned to the way it was before the pandemic.

“We still need to apply a level of caution to our daily lives – wearing a mask, washing hands, socialising outdoors, ventilating indoor spaces, remaining socially distant wherever possible. All of these things reduce the risk of the virus spreading, while the vaccination programme continues to increase our protection on a daily basis.

“On the subject of vaccines, we still have people who have yet to come forward for their first vaccine and we urge them to do so for their own sake and for the protection of their families, friends and colleagues. The highest number of cases in Oxfordshire remains in the 18-30 age group and this is the where the largest number of unvaccinated people are. We know that if we give this virus any area to exploit, it will do so.

“There’s another change to the national rules on 16 August, but I would urge people not to take this as a signal to relax too much. Please get tested regularly and, if you feel unwell, book a PCR test.

“I would also ask that people continue to co-operate with contact tracers when they get in touch. Every small act of personal responsibility helps limits the spread of this virus. Earlier this month our local contract tracing team reached their 4000th case – this shows what a great job they have done to help contain the virus locally and we hope that people will continue to play their part so we can beat this virus together.”

Information on where to get tested in Oxfordshire can be found here

Case rates in Oxfordshire

For the week ending August 6 case rates in Oxfordshire were 219.3 cases per 100,000 of the population.

By district of Oxfordshire the figures were as follows:

  • Cherwell 230.6 cases per 100,000 of the population
  • Oxford 279.4 cases per 100,000 of the population
  • South Oxfordshire 188 cases per 100,000 of the population
  • Vale of White Horse 206.6 cases per 100,000 of the population
  • West Oxfordshire 177.1 cases per 100,000 of the population