A WELCOME fall has finally been seen in the number of new COVID-19 cases being recorded in Dumfries and Galloway.
Although there is still caution around this decline, numbers of new cases fell to 353 in the week ending Sunday October 17.
This was down from 464 cases the week before, and comes after several weeks of much more modest reductions in numbers.
Meanwhile, the number of identified close contacts of positive cases also fell, standing at 610 compared to 863 the week before.
NHS Dumfries and Galloway Chief Executive Jeff Ace said: “This is a very welcome development, with huge thanks to the continuing efforts that everyone is making to control the number of cases in Dumfries and Galloway.
“This only represents one week’s cases, however, and it’s still too early to fully understand the factors behind this and to be able to say where we go from here. However, the fall should offer some hope that we can limit the spread of this virus, and help prevent it from impacting on our health, our public services and our lives in general.
“A decline in cases would come at an important time, as we head towards colder, winter months when we know people will be spending more time indoors, and when we know we have the risk of higher rates of COVID.
“Vaccinations have made a big difference, with hospitalisations due to COVID now much reduced, but this virus still has the ability to impact on our lives. We need to continue doing all we can, including regular 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.
“Taking up the opportunity to be vaccinated against COVID-19 remains very important, and I would strongly urge all those eligible to also take up the chance of a flu vaccination when it is their turn. COVID in itself represents enough of a danger to health, but we are very aware that we may see an increase in respiratory illness this winter and it’s vital that everyone considers taking up the fullest degree of protection available.”
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/