A MARKED increase has been recorded in the region’s COVID numbers – rising back to exactly where they stood five weeks ago.
In the week ending Sunday 31 October a total of 503 new COVID-19 cases was recorded, up from 438 the week before, and 353 the week before that.
Numbers of people identified as close contacts of positive cases have also increased, up from 861 to stand at 896.
Director of Public Health Valerie White said: “There is no very obvious explanation for the reverse in the trend, although the last few weeks have seen a change in the weather to colder and wetter conditions, with more people indoors where we know COVID has more chance to spread.
“We have been sitting in quite a finely balanced position, with a much more gradual decline in cases over recent weeks, so it might not take too much to tip us in the other direction, leading to us seeing an increase in case numbers.
“We continue to have around 25 people in hospital with COVID-19 at any one time, with unfortunately a small number needing to have care provided in our Critical Care unit. That is why it’s so important that we continue doing everything we can to keep this virus under control.
“Wearing a face covering in indoor public spaces, hand washing, and considering our social interactions is really important. So too is regular testing, and immediately isolating if we experience any symptoms.
“There’s continuing evidence that the Booster vaccination helps to limit COVID’s impact, and as we continue our vaccination programme we’d encourage everyone to take up this opportunity when eligible.
“Cases of COVID-19 are being reported right across the region, so there are no clusters or outbreaks which are particularly contributing to this situation.
“As wearing as it might be, we need to keep working to control this virus as we head towards winter months, in order to protect our own health, that of our loved ones and communities, and to help protect the functioning of services and businesses across our region.”
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/