Covid-19 hasn’t gone away!

Animated Infographic. Covid-19 is still here! To keep ourselves and loved ones safe, it is important to remain vigilant and take the following precautions. Get vaccinated. Wear a face covering or face mask, particularly if you are in crowded and enclosed spaces. Meet outdoor when you can and let fresh air in if meeting others indoors. Wash your hands often with soapy water. Cover your coughs and sneezes. Clean your surroundings frequently. Let’s enjoy the summer and regained freedom but keep in mind that Covid-19 hasn’t gone away and we can all do our bit to live safely.

Schools are breaking up, the barbeque is ready for action and life feels a little freer these days but it’s important to remember: Covid-19 hasn’t gone away!  In fact, in recent weeks there has been an increase in infections across Berkshire with an estimated one in just over 30 people in the South East of England testing positive as of 24 June 2022. 

Monthly figures of Covid infections are available for each of the six Berkshire local authorities and can be found on the monthly Covid-19 Briefing on our Berkshire Public Health website (Berkshire monthly Covid-19 briefing – Berkshire Public Health).

The current rise in cases of Covid-19 is due to a shift in the dominant variant of Covid-19. Up until recently, the variant called Omicron BA.2 has been the predominant variant but latest data indicates that Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants are driving the recent increase in infections and now account for more than half of new Covid-19 cases in the UK.

As of 24 June 2022, the percentage of people in England testing positive for Covid-19 increased across all age groups, with the 50-69 age group having the highest percentage of positive infections.

So far, the rise in cases in Berkshire has not led to an increase in Covid-19 related deaths largely due to the effectiveness of the vaccine and the incredible efforts of people across the county to get fully vaccinated but hospitalisations due to Covid-19 infection are increasing.

Precautions worth taking

Let’s ensure that we’re up to date with our Covid-19 vaccinations, remain vigilant, and continue to take precautions,. Keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe and well is so important and the vaccination programme is our best form of defence. If you haven’t had the vaccine, or if you haven’t had your booster, it’s not too late to vaccinate.

If you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection such as a continuous cough, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, fever, chills, a high temperature, then try to stay at home, limit contact with others (especially the elderly and vulnerable) and rest until you are feeling better.

Face coverings and hand washing are still good ways of helping to reduce transmission. It is sensible to wear a face covering in crowded, enclosed spaces like on public transport, airplanes, and indoor social gatherings. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly and often in warm soapy water to help wash away the virus, especially before and after getting on public transport or getting in from work, the shops or socialising.

Meeting others outdoors is much safer than indoors as the fresh air helps to blow the Covid-19 particles away. Make the most of the warm weather over the summer and meet outside when you can. If you meet indoors, let the fresh air in by opening doors and windows.

How to protect yourself and loved ones

  • get vaccinated
  • wear a face covering or a face mask, particularly if you are in crowded and enclosed spaces
  • meet outdoors when you can and let fresh air in if meeting others indoors
  • wash your hands often with soapy water
  • cover your coughs and sneezes
  • clean your surroundings frequently

Let’s enjoy the summer and our regained freedom but keep in mind that Covid-19 hasn’t gone away, rates of infections are rising and we can all do our bit to live safely.