It may be August but COVID-19 has not gone on holiday warns public health chief after Oxford rise
People in Oxford are being warned that while they may be spending August relaxing and taking a break, COVID-19 is as active as ever and beginning to show the very early signs of spreading more quickly.
Statistics for the week up to August 14 show a noticeable rise in the number of cases of COVID-19 in Oxford – and these are disproportionately centred around 20-30 year olds.
A total of 28 of cases were in Oxford. This compares with 16 the previous week.
Although Oxford’s COVID-19 statistics remain well below levels that have led to the re-introduction of measures to suppress the virus in the north-west of England, Yorkshire, Leicester, Aberdeen and some other places – the trend has been upward this week.
Ansaf Azhar, Director of Public Health at Oxfordshire County Council, said: “We saw a rise in the number of positive cases in Oxford in late July and this thankfully dropped again as we entered August. It now seems we are back up to those late July levels again.
“The new cases are not centred on any venue, place of work or other cluster. They seem to be centred on people aged between 20 and 30 and there is a suspicion that people in this age group are relaxing during the holiday season and forgetting all of the important things that have helped suppress COVID-19 since the Spring.
“The message to younger people is that you may not experience the worst of the symptoms yourself, but you may pass it on to loved ones in older age groups who do. Please play your part to stop the spread.
“However, wider messages about people going on holiday and enjoying Summer apply to everybody. Please take extra care. It may be August, you may be taking a break – but COVID-19 is not taking a break. If you give it an inch, it will take a mile. Let’s stop giving it any room for manoeuvre. We have seen already the damage this virus can cause – both here in the UK and abroad.
“If you’ve been abroad to a country that is not on the exemption list then by law you need to self-isolate for 14 days.”
“The plea is a simple one – be consistent in remembering those simple measures that help keep us safe – keep your distance, wash your hands, wear a mask. If we all do these things, we will avoid having to introduce measures that we’ve seen elsewhere in England.”
Take care over the Bank Holiday too!
Ansaf added: “To a large degree controlling this issue is in our own hands as a result of our own behaviours. We have a Bank Holiday weekend coming up. Again – the temptation will be to relax and act as if it is a normal August Bank Holiday. It isn’t. Please take responsibility and play your part – we are still in the midst of a pandemic.
“The weekly rate per 100,000 of population in Oxfordshire is still comparatively low at 9.4. In Oxford the rate is 18.4. Although this is still well below the thresholds that have seen measures re-introduced elsewhere in the country, it is higher than many other areas in the south of the UK and the rising trend this week is something that requires huge vigilance.”
COVID-19 Trial Recruitment
Summertown Health Centre is taking part in the national PRINCIPLE clinical trial, which aims to find low-risk treatments for older people with COVID-19 that can be taken at home.
To be eligible to join the trial you will need to have experienced symptoms that are likely to be caused by COVID-19 for fewer than 15 days.
The trial is open to people aged 65 or over, or aged 50–64 with an underlying health condition.
If you are registered at Summertown Health Centre and would like more information, please contact us on 01865-515552. You can also join the trial online, even if you are not currently registered with our practice. For full details, visit http://www.principletrial.org
Patient Notice - Coronavirus
Call the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Mental Health Helpline if you need help with a mental health problem. This number replaces 111 for mental health advice in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
- For adults and older adults call 01865 904997.
- For children and young people call 01865 904998.
We are aware that many people are finding it very stressful being confined to their homes for so long. If you’re finding it tough and have children at home, you might like to look at these helpful resources.
You can get in touch with your children’s head teacher/head of year at school, and the school nursing team might be able to help -find their details here: https://www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/school-health-nurses/
Please get in touch with us if you are worried about your own health or that of your children.
If you’ve had a baby in the last couple of months and would like some support from other mothers, and professionals, please visit this link: https://www.facebook.com/botleybridges/
The NHS and Public Health England (PHE) are extremely well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.
NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you what to do.
Use this service if:
- you think you might have coronavirus
- in the last 14 days you've been to a country or area with a high risk of coronavirus – see coronavirus advice for travellers and a list of high risk countries on nhs.uk
- you've been in close contact with someone with coronavirus
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay indoors and avoid close contact with other people. Call 111 if you need to speak to someone.
In Scotland call your GP or NHS 24 on 111 out of hours.
In Northern Ireland call 111.
For region specific information and advice in:
- England visit nhs.uk
- Wales visit phw.nhs.wales
- Scotland visit nhsinform.scot
- Northern Ireland visit HSC
- Ireland visit HSE
Further information and details of how to self-isolate are available on nhs.uk.
Further updates can be found on the Blood.co.uk site here: https://www.blood.co.uk/news-and-campaigns/news-and-statements/coronavirus-covid-19-updates/
Welcome to Summertown Health Centre
Our vision is to provide high quality care to all our patients and to continually strive to improve our service to the community.
Our main surgery is in Summertown with others in Cutteslowe and Wolvercote. Between them they are open for consultations for a total of 140 hours each week including opportunities for early morning, late evening telephone consultations and surgeries and a Saturday morning surgery.
Out of normal opening hours you should call 111 if you require urgent health advice.
Please note, unfortunately we are unable to offer parking to patients in our car park. This is a staff only car park. Please use the Ferry Pool car park which is a short walking distance from the surgery.
We are a group practice. Our team of GPs work together sharing information within the practice to enable you to see any GP. However, every patient has a named GP responsible for their care (if you do not know who your named GP is, please contact the health centre). We also run regular clinics covering a wide range of services.
Our practice area covers Summertown and North Oxford, including Wolvercote, Cutteslowe, Marston and Kidlington. It goes into the city centre as far as Beaumont Street. We also look after students at the University Colleges of Trinity, St Hugh’s, St Edmund Hall and St Antony’s and The Dragon School, St Edwards School and Summer Fields School.