Monday, 29 November 2021

Coronavirus cases rise sharply in week

Coronavirus cases rise sharply in week

THE number of coronavirus cases in South Oxfordshire has risen sharply.

In the past week, the total went from 460 to 673, an increase of 46 per cent, putting the infection rate at 468 per 100,000 of the population.

There was a 25 per cent rise in the previous week.

The number of deaths within 28 days of a positive covid test went up by one to 173.

Cases in Henley increased from 18 to 58 after two weeks of falling numbers.

Numbers for other areas were as follows: Shiplake and Binfield Heath 38; Sonning Common and Kidmore End 29; Goring, Woodcote and Whitchurch 69; Benson and Crowmarsh Gifford 45; Watlington and Nettlebed 15; Emmer Green 28; Caversham Heights 30; Lower Caversham 32; Wargrave and Twyford East 31; and Sonning and Woodley North 62.

Across Oxfordshire covid-19 cases have risen by 44 per cent in two weeks. There were increases in every age group with the biggest being among 11- to to 17-year-olds followed by people aged 40 to 49.

Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire County Council’s director of public health, urged people to “not take their eye off the ball”.

He said: “Half term is coming up and we would ask families to make sure they continue to get tested, especially before the return to the classroom in early November.

“More widely, we are asking everyone in Oxfordshire to continue to take lateral flow tests on an ongoing basis throughout the winter months and to book a PCR test if they are symptomatic.

“Our plea is that everybody should take advantage of those opportunities to boost their immunity as soon as possible. Doing so helps individuals, cuts down the risk of covid spreading in family settings and helps the community as a whole.”

In Wokingham borough, infection rates are at a record high and secondary schools such as Piggott in Wargrave are being advised that their pupils should wear face masks.

Council leader John Halsall said: “The rate of new covid-19 cases within the borough remains high and is rising as we begin to see the impact of people returning to school and workplaces.

“Most cases continue to occur within our school-age population, in line with the rest of the country. We are working closely with our school communities to do all that we can to support headteachers who are facing an incredibly challenging term.”

The NHS Confederation urged the Government to reintroduce covid restrictions to avoid a health crisis this winter with a steady increase in covid cases and hospital admissions nationally as well as delays to the vaccine booster programme.

The Government says another lockdown is unlikely and that “plan B” would involve rules such as working from home and wearing face coverings in more settings.

Meanwhile, GP surgeries are continuing to vaccinate patients.

The Hart Surgery in Henley has given two doses to 86 per cent of its adult patients and one dose to 89 per cent.

Of the almost 5,000 patients eligible for a booster vaccine, the surgery has given just over 1,000 doses.

A total of 5,489 patients are eligible for a flu vaccination and 2,229 have had one.

The next delivery was due yesterday (Thursday) and the surgery will then start to vaccinate healthy 50- to 64-year-olds.

 At the neighbouring Bell Surgery, 7,114 patients have had both doses of a covid jab and 7,740 people have had one.

A further 1,100 patients have received a booster jab.

The surgery gave 597 flu vaccines in the first clinic on September 18 and another 425 last Saturday.

Patients of Sonning Common Health Centre  have received a total of 14,737 covid vaccinations either directly from the practice or at a mass vaccination site.

The practice has administered 11,826 vaccinations, with 86 per cent of adults having had two doses and 90 per cent having had one.  A total of 516 booster jabs have been given.

Appointments for the Pfizer booster programme are scheduled for Wednesday and November 3 at 2pm and 6pm.

However, the health centre has suffered a setback.

Practice manager John Lisiewicz said the delivery of more flu jabs had been delayed until mid to late November.

He said: “We have very few flu vaccines remaining for the 65 and over age group.  We will continue to offer a vaccine to our 18 to 64 years at-risk group, but will delay inviting the 50 to 64 group until our remaining order arrives.”

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