COVID cases rise 44 per cent in a fortnight in Oxfordshire

People in Oxfordshire being asked to be cautious and continue to get tested given that cases of COVID in the county have risen by 44 per cent since 1 October. This increase reflects regional and national trends.

There have been increases in case rates in every age group over the past fortnight and there were 3,126 cases in the county in the week ending October 15. The highest case levels remain in young people aged 11 to 17, with significant increases also being seen in people in their 40s.

Everyone should continue to stay at home if they are feeling unwell and get a PCR test as soon as possible.

Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire County Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “September and early October saw cases fluctuate quite a bit locally and nationally as schools and universities returned and more people started going into the office. However, over the past fortnight there has been a sustained rise and we are now once again a position where we are asking people not to take their eye off the ball.

“Half-term is coming up and we would ask families to make sure they continue to get tested, especially before the return to the classroom in early November. However, more widely we are asking everyone in Oxfordshire to continue to take lateral flow tests on an ongoing basis throughout the winter months and to book a PCR test if they are symptomatic.

“We are now seeing 12-15 year-olds invited for their jab and people in priority groups being invited for their booster. Our plea is that everybody should take advantage of those opportunities to boost their immunity as soon as possible. Doing so helps individuals, cuts down the risk of COVID spreading in family settings and helps the community as a whole.

“We would also like to repeat those simple and familiar messages about taking real care about socialising indoors, ventilating indoor spaces, handwashing and wearing face coverings. Every little act of caution helps contain the spread of the virus and allows the vaccine the time and space to do its good work.”

Getting tested in Oxfordshire

There are a range of options for twice-weekly lateral flow tests. With one in three people with COVID-19 not having any symptoms, twice-weekly testing remains crucial to help us find cases and prevent spread of infection, even for those who have been vaccinated. All symptom-free testing information is available on the county council’s website.

People with symptoms of COVID-19 must self-isolate and book a PCR test as soon as possible. There are several PCR facilities available:

  • Oxford Parkway (OX2 8HA) – drive through facility
  • Oxford Brookes University (OX3 0BP)
  • Osney Lane, Oxford (OX1 1NY)
  • Woodford Way car park, Witney (OX28 6JS)
  • Bodicote House (mobile testing unit), Banbury

If taking a lateral flow test at home, results should be registered online or by calling 119. Those who test positive need to self-isolate immediately and book a confirmatory PCR test.

A self-isolation information pack is available for advice and sources of support alongside answers to a number of frequently asked questions.

Getting vaccinated in Oxfordshire

Booking a vaccine if you are 18 and over can be done simply via the NHS website.

Anyone aged 16 or over can get a jab at the Kassam Stadium in Oxford, with no appointment necessary. Find out more on Oxfordshire CCG’s website.

A third COVID-19 booster jab is now being offered to priority groups, including care home residents, health and social care workers, people aged over 50, those aged 16 - 49 with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19, adult carers and adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals.

Residents will be invited by their GP or through the national booking service to book their booster appointment when it is their turn.

Young people aged 12 to 15 will be able to get their vaccine through their school – however the Government indicated earlier this week that these arrangements are to be widened.

Case rates in Oxfordshire

The countywide rate for the week ending 15 October was 448.6 per 100,000

By district the rates are:

  • Cherwell 463.6 cases per 100,000 of the population
  • Oxford 317.3 cases per 100,000 of the population
  • South Oxfordshire 505.6 cases per 100,000 of the population
  • Vale of White Horse 498.2 cases per 100,000 of the population
  • West Oxfordshire 471.6 cases per 100,000 of the population

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