AN INCREASE in COVID-19 cases was recorded in the region last week – standing at 438 across the week ending Sunday 24 October.
The increase reverses much of the fall from the previous week, when cases had fallen from 463 to stand at 353.
Numbers of identified close contacts of COVID cases also increased last week, from 610 to 861.
Director of Public Health Valerie White said: “We’ve seen an increase in the number of new COVID cases that were recorded last week.
“However, overall the movement is still in the direction of a decline from the peak in late August– albeit a much slower one than we would like to see.
“COVID-19 is still present at higher levels than we would wish and it continues to impact on health, our public services and daily lives. We’re conscious that we’re heading into colder months when we know people will be spending more time indoors, and when we know we have the risk of higher rates of COVID.
“We’re also aware of the combined dangers posed by a possible increase in other respiratory illnesses.
“That’s why it’s important that people take up the vaccination opportunities open to them around COVID-19 and also the flu. It’s vital that everyone takes up the fullest degree of protection available.
“We also need to continue working to drive down the spread of COVID. Key to this is hand hygiene, wearing face coverings in indoor public spaces, regular testing for COVID, and immediately self-isolating and arranging to be tested if experiencing any symptoms.”
Symptoms of COVID-19 are:
A raised temperature
A new and continuous cough
Change to or loss of sense of taste and or smell
Regular asymptomatic testing for COVID provides assurance and helps to identify cases at the earliest opportunity.
Details on the full range of testing opportunities can be found by visiting the website www.nhsdg.co.uk/testing/
Full details on opportunities to be vaccinated can be found by visiting the website www.nhsdg.co.uk/vaccines/