NHS Dumfries & Galloway

Significant increase in COVID cases – as new round of vaccinations begin

A SIGNIFICANT increase in COVID cases has been recorded in Dumfries and Galloway over the last two weeks. 

In the week ending Sunday March 20 there were 2029 new cases. Meanwhile, numbers adjusted for the previous week upon receipt of additional data reveal that there were 1950 cases – up very markedly from 1261 the week before. 

Director of Public Health Valerie White said: “In line with the rest of Scotland, we’re seeing very high numbers of COVID cases at present. 

“This comes as we’re launching into new rounds of vaccinations, providing first jags to young people age 5 to 11 as well as further boosters for those aged 75 and above, residents of older adult care homes and people aged 12 plus who are immune-suppressed. 

“Over the next few weeks the focus of our vaccination programme will be these groups, but we strongly encourage everyone to ensure they are as fully vaccinated as possible as COVID continues to spread widely. 

“Being fully vaccinated provides you with the highest level of defence against what can still be a nasty virus.” 

Ms White added: “People may very reasonably be asking what the very high numbers of cases mean as a risk to public health. 

“Thankfully, vaccination has made a very big difference in preventing most people from suffering the worst effects of COVID. 

“However, the coronavirus does still pose a risk. In addition, the actions we are required to take in order to prevent spread, including self-isolating when infected, can still have a major impact on our society and the functioning of essential services. 

“We’d therefore ask everyone to ensure they’re fully vaccinated, and to help prevent spread by continuing to practice good hand and respiratory hygiene and wear face coverings in indoor public spaces – which reduces the risk of unknowingly spreading COVID to others. 

“Lateral Flow Device tests currently remain free and available, and we’d encourage everyone to test regularly – especially before meeting people who are vulnerable or before visiting a hospital or care home. Crucially, if you become symptomatic please isolate and test for COVID, and remain self-isolating if you test positive. 

“COVID spreads very easily, and it’s no one’s fault if they become infected. However, there are actions we can all take to help protect ourselves and others.” 

Details on vaccination can be found by visiting the website www.nhsdg.co.uk/vaccines