We remain in tier 2 as local COVID-19 cases spike


Several areas of Banbury hit their highest ever seven day infection rates

The latest COVID-19 infection rates up to the end of last week were issued yesterday and show a sharp spike in cases in the Banbury FM area in the last seven days.   However, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has today left both Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire in tier 2. Mr Hancock did increase a wide area of the east and south-east of England to tier 3.

Last week positive test results in the Banbury FM area were up 70% on the previous week.   New infection rates were at the highest level since early November and at the third highest level since the pandemic started.

Within our area the biggest increases are in Banbury town.   Several areas, including Calthorpe, Grimsbury, Hardwick and Neithrop, increased to their highest ever weekly new infection rates.

Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire County Council’s Director for Public Health, said: “Christmas is now close. It is a time for enjoyment, but we need to adapt so that we can enjoy ourselves without giving COVID-19 the chance to join the party. We have seen that this virus thrives on human contact – the rules exist to stop it spreading.

“Tier 2 status reflects our current situation locally, but in the past 7 days alone cases have increased by almost 50 per cent in Oxfordshire. So we’re far from out of the woods and we could easily find ourselves in tier 3 in the new year unless we take care now. We have seen that our neighbours in Buckinghamshire and Berkshire have been moved to tier 3. That is a clear warning. COVID-19 will not be taking a break for Christmas.

“Clearly different rules apply between December 23 and 27, when up to three households can form an exclusive Christmas bubble. However, until then, you must not mix indoors with other households unless they’re part of your support bubble. This means you can’t go out for a meal with friends or invite people over for Christmas drinks.

“Unless we all take personal responsibility as individuals and families throughout the coming weeks, we risk creating a situation in January that will see steeply rising numbers of cases at exactly the time of year when viruses thrive. This means putting even more pressure on our NHS at its busiest time of year. We need to protect ourselves and the NHS as we enter 2021.

“The vaccine continues to be a source of good news and we have seen people in Oxfordshire begin the process of being vaccinated. However, it will be some way into the new year before this begins to provide protection to larger numbers of the population and make a material difference to the overall situation.

“We therefore all need to be extra vigilant in the run-up to Christmas and to think carefully about our plans over the festive period. It is up to all of us to stop the spread.”

Since Monday older patients from health centres in Deddington, Bloxham, Chipping Norton and Wychwood have been receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations in Chipping Norton.   Other surgeries are also beginning the vaccination rollout.

Within the above figures the Banbury FM area includes Banbury and its surrounding villages, Brackley, Kings Sutton, Greatworth, Evenley, Middleton Cheney and Chipping Warden

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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