HIGH rates of Covid-19 in Warwickshire have prompted the county’s Director of Public Health to urge residents not to abandon key anti-coronavirus measures.
Dr Shade Agboola says now is not the time to return to pre-pandemic behaviour, with pressure on the NHS set to grow due to winter flu and sickness bugs.
She has urged residents to stop cases increasing any further by continuing to wash hands regularly, distance from those we do not live with, and wear a face covering in closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings, especially when there is poor ventilation.
Residents are also advised to get vaccinated against Covid-19 and flu, and to take Covid tests regularly.
Dr Agboola said cases are continuing to rise in Warwickshire as people disengage with the national guidelines.
She said: “With the winter months and celebrations such as Christmas fast approaching, now is the time to make a concerted effort to reduce the rise in cases. We all want to spend time with the ones we love and enjoy time with our friends and we absolutely can do this. We just need to do it safely.
“Simple steps such as taking a lateral flow test at home and getting a negative result before meeting up can make all the difference. As will staying at home, self-isolating and booking a PCR test if you have Covid-19 symptoms.
“If you are visiting friends at home, open the windows and keep the room well ventilated. It may be a little colder, but it will keep you safer. If you do go to places where there are lots of people, then wear a face covering. It’s only for a short time and it will reduce your chances of picking up Covid-19 or spreading it to others who may not have yet been vaccinated.”
She said everyone had a role to play in reducing Covid-19 cases across the county – for the safety of loved ones, friends and the wider community.
She said: “If we stop taking precautions, we will continue to see cases rise across Warwickshire, which will result in more hospitalisations and sadly more deaths. As a community we have already come so far, so let’s continue to work together and do the right thing for Warwickshire.”
Warwickshire County Council’s spokeswoman for health and social care, Coun Margaret Bell, said: “While we are enjoying getting back to a more normal way of living, we need to learn how to live with Covid-19.
“The measures we have had in place throughout the pandemic including hands-face-space, have served a purpose and when used consistently and appropriately, they have helped to reduce the number of Covid-19 cases in our communities. So, let’s not lose that, especially as the winter months approach.”
Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/information-coronavirus for more information, advice and support.