Oxford edges towards a red alert as coronavirus cases double in a week

Residents are being urged to be extra vigilant to avoid local control measures as Oxford sees a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.

The latest figures for the city show a doubling of cases to a rate of 43.9 per 100,000 of the population – putting the city on amber alert but edging closer to a red alert level. Oxfordshire as a whole is currently on yellow alert, with cases at 18.1 per 100,000.

The cases are across all parts of the city, with the majority among 18-24 year olds and cases per 100,000 are now at their highest level in Oxford since May.

Stark warning

Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire County Council’s Director for Public Health, said: “We have seen a considerable increase in cases in Oxford.

“While this mirrors what is happening nationally, we must remember that cases in Oxford have doubled over the past week and the situation can deteriorate further very quickly. If we don’t all take this very seriously, we risk seeing tough local restrictions imposed that none of us want.

We have recently seen many other parts of the country go into lockdown. This is something we all want to avoid. But if cases continue to rise at the rate they have been doing, then we may have no choice.

“My plea is a simple one – keep your distance, wash your hands, wear a mask, and ensure you are adhering to the rule of six.

“It’s up to all of us to bring the virus under control. The latest figures are a stark warning that we must act now. We need to slow the rate before it’s too late.”