COVID-19 cases are rising in Dorset: Know the risk, act now and protect yourself and others - Public Health Dorset
COVID-19 cases are rising in Dorset: Know the risk, act now and protect yourself and others
As COVID-19 cases rise across the county, Public Health Dorset is asking residents to be aware of the risks that the virus still poses.
Case rates have risen sharply in the South West over the past week. Locally, the case rate in the Dorset Council area is now 515 per 100,000 and in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole it is 408. The number of people in hospital in Dorset with COVID-19 has increased by over a third in the past week to 53.
Whilst the highest case rates are amongst school-aged children, cases are increasing across all age groups. Directors of Public Health in the South West have written to schools to provide guidance around some additional measures to prevent the spread of the virus in schools. This includes reducing large gatherings and mixing between year groups as well as encouraging the use of face coverings when moving around in indoor spaces.
Sam Crowe, Director of Public Health for Dorset Council and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, said:
“During the spring and early summer period we managed to get cases right down, but unfortunately that’s not where we are right now. We do need to learn to live with COVID-19, but such high transmission rates do bring increased risks, despite the success of the vaccination programme. The vaccine gives you good protection against serious illness, but it doesn’t stop you from catching or spreading the virus. It is not a magic protective cloak, and that’s why we need to keep up some other measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“We have already seen hospital admissions start to rise, and we cannot run the risk of putting additional pressure on our health and care system this winter as we just don’t have the room for manoeuvre. That’s why we’re asking Dorset residents to do three things now:
- KNOW that your level of personal risk is changing – as cases rise, you have a greater chance of mixing with someone who is infectious
- ACT by taking measures to prevent airborne spread – meet outdoors wherever you can but if you do meet indoors keep windows and doors open and bring extra layers if you need to
- PROTECT yourself and others – do twice weekly lateral flow tests to catch the virus early, and if you’re not yet vaccinated, now is the time to get your jabs.
“If we all work together now, as we have done throughout the pandemic, we can take action to bring cases back down and hopefully prevent the need for any further restrictions in the coming weeks and months.”