COVID falls to lowest level in four months


Some parts of the Banbury FM area had no new cases last week, but we are reminded we must still “do our bit”

COVID infection rates in the Banbury FM area have fallen to the lowest level in four months.   Figures released yesterday up to the end of last week (February 12) show infection rates at their lowest levels since early October.  

There were no new COVID cases in some parts of our area for the first time in several months.

The good news comes ahead of a statement from Prime Minister Boris Johnson next Monday.   Mr Johnson is due to unveil his roadmap out of the current lockdown which he says will be “driven by data not dates”.

Last week 68 people tested positive for the coronavirus in the Banbury FM area – down from 151 during the previous seven days and a pandemic high of 994 at the start of January.   There were no new cases in Cropredy, Wroxton and Shennington, Kings Sutton, Greatworth and Evenley, Middleton Cheney and Chipping Warden, and Sibford, Hook Norton and Milcombe.

Despite the good news, and as the vaccine rollout continues, we are being reminded we must not relax our drive to beat back COVID.   Those who have been vaccinated, or are due to receive their vaccination soon, are advised to remember that it takes up to three weeks for an immune response to kick in.

In Oxfordshire, over 65s and people aged 16-65 with an underlying health condition are now being invited to have the vaccine, together with a small number of other groups including adult carers.

Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire County Council’s Director for Public Health, said: “It’s great news that the first dose of the vaccine has been given to so many people in such a short space of time. However, there is still a long way to go in the vaccination programme and we are keen that those who have now been inoculated are aware that the benefits do not kick in until around three weeks after the jab has been administered.

“Earlier this week we heard the Prime Minister, Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Simon Stevens urge continued caution looking ahead and I would wish to reflect that locally.

“Surely the last thing anybody would want to do is have their jab, drop their guard and end up catching COVID-19 before the vaccine has a chance to do its job.

“The figures for the number of people with COVID-19 in Oxfordshire have declined again this week and our weekly rate in the county has now fallen to below 100 per 100,000 for the first time since early December, which is really good news. However, the virus is still very active in the county. We await the Government’s decisions on a roadmap out of lockdown but we know it will be cautious. It is clear that we will not return to 2019 and before in one leap.

“We’ve seen before what happens when we relax too soon. The virus makes a rapid comeback and we end up in a frustrating one-step-forward two-steps back routine. Let’s not go there in 2021. Let’s see how much further we can drive down the levels of COVID-19 in Oxfordshire before lockdown ends. The lower it is, the better for all of us in both the short-term and the long-term.

“We can only drive COVID-19 into the margins by sticking to the disciplines that have lowered the numbers since midwinter. I would therefore ask everyone to please do your bit.”

In the Cherwell District last week there were 82.4 COVID cases per 100,000 people.

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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