A WELCOME decline in COVID-19 cases has been recorded in Dumfries and Galloway, decreasing in line with the rest of Scotland.
However, the 1434 cases recorded last week – down from 1889 – is still very significant, and if there is a continuing decline it may not be rapid. COVID spread could still continue to significantly affect individuals, businesses and services over coming weeks.
Director of Public Health Valerie White said: “While the fall in cases is very welcome, we’re still seeing COVID cases right across our region, affecting people’s health and the ability of businesses and services to function. “People have been terrific at continuing to apply the measures that we know can help prevent spread, and we urge them to continue.
“Although we’re moving towards a point where wearing face coverings in indoor public settings will no longer be a legal requirement, we absolutely support everyone who follows the national directions to continue wearing face coverings if they can.
“A face covering helps to prevent you from unknowingly spreading COVID to someone vulnerable when you cough or sneeze. Please don’t feel embarrassed to keep wearing a mask if you can – it’s a visible sign that you care about other people’s health.”
Along with the rest of Scotland, changes are taking place around testing in Dumfries and Galloway. From mid-April, advice to the general public to routinely test if asymptomatic will cease and access to lateral flow test for that purpose will stop.
Routine asymptomatic testing will cease in workplaces other than health and social care settings, and routine testing in education settings will end.
LFD testing will continue to be available in certain circumstances where testing will still be recommended, i.e. before visiting a care home or hospital.
From the end of April, testing of most people who are experiencing symptoms of COVID will end, moving to targeted testing for clinical care and to manage serious outbreaks.
Updated advice on what to do if experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 from the end of April is in development and will be communicated nationally and locally when available.
Details on these changes will be featured on the website www.nhsdg.co.uk/testing as they continue to take place, including the stepping down of static and mobile testing at locations across the region by the end of the month. PCR testing will remain available until the end of April and until then the advice continues to be to isolate if you have symptoms of COVID and arrange a PCR test.
Changes in the way we manage COVID-19 do not mean it has gone away and it remains critically important that everybody ensures they are as fully vaccinated as possible. For information, visit www.nhsdg.co.uk/vaccines