A PUBLIC health boss has urged people to “keep up good habits” after the number of new Covid-19 cases rose by more than a quarter in Brighton and Hove.
In the seven days up to last Friday, April 23, there were 49 confirmed new Covid-19 cases in the city, which is a 26 per cent increase on the previous week, and equivalent to a weekly rate of 16.8 per 100,000 residents.
This is lower than the rate for England, which was 24.8 per 100,000, and lower than the rate in the South East, at 19 per 100,000.
Director of Public Health Alistair Hill said: “It’s crucial we all keep up good habits around ‘hands, face, space and fresh air’, as well as vaccinations, testing and isolating.
“Covid is still around, it’s still dangerous and we need to do all that we can to prevent the spread.
“While the rates in all other ages remain low, we have seen a number of cases in school aged children and young people.
“With schools and colleges fully re-opening, any need for self-isolation means missing out on face-to-face education.
“Just a few cases can have a big impact on learning. When mixing together outside of schools, please stay safe and stick to the rules around group sizes and meeting outdoors.”
Dr Hill added that there were no reported cases in the over 60s in last week’s published data, which he described as “an achievement we should not underestimate.”
He said: “Although most will have now had at least their first dose of the vaccine, it’s also down to your continued efforts in following restrictions.
“Carrying masks, making space and using sanitiser should now be like picking up your phone and keys when you leave the house.
“These are the same simple actions we need to remember and repeat.”
Anyone aged 42 and over is now eligible for a vaccine, and the jab is also being offered to those with underlying health conditions, unpaid carers and health and care workers, Dr Hill said.
“If you’re close to this age, please keep an eye out and book an appointment as soon as you are able to.
“For those who are eligible but need support, there’s now smaller quiet sessions that can be booked, buddies available to go with you, mobile sites across the city each week, and free transport to get you to your appointment,” he added.
Dr Hill urged people to take advantage of rapid tests which are now available in the city for those without symptoms.
He said: “Regular symptom-free testing is also now easier than ever. You can order tests online, pick them up from almost all pharmacies in the city, or book a test near you.
“Rapid testing is the best way for us to find the cases where there are no symptoms and isolate quickly to stop it spreading to friends, family, colleagues and classmates.
“And for those who are showing symptoms, please don’t use a rapid test – you must book a PCR test.
“There’s plenty of testing capacity in the city, so results are returned quickly.
“I know it’s not easy for everyone who tests positive, or is a contact, to self-isolate but it’s crucial that anyone who needs to does stay at home for the whole 10 days.
“Support is available for anyone who is finding it tough.”