Keep safe as Covid rates rise

4:07pm - 20 October 2021

Coronavirus cases are rising locally and around the region so do what you can to keep yourself and those around you safe.

Our infection rate has risen sharply in the last week following the identification of false negative PCR tests last week at a lab in Wolverhampton.

The latest seven-day case data indicates that North Somerset's infection rate currently stands at 725.5 per 100,000 - above both the regional and national average.

The South West has the highest infection rate of any English region currently.

Now that people's day-to-day activities are no longer constrained by as many official coronavirus measures, it's never been more important for everyone to take personal responsibility to reduce the risk of spreading the infection.

The false negative PCR test results will inevitably mean that people living in North Somerset will have unknowingly passed the infection on to others.

The best actions everyone can take are to wear a mask in crowded indoor settings, meet outside where possible, keep up the frequent hand washing for at least 20 seconds and socially distance.

Regular home testing using lateral flow test kits will also help identify new cases - so keep testing regularly whether you have symptoms or not.

Vaccinations remain our best defence against serious illness.

Many residents will be due their booster vaccinations now or in the coming weeks or months, so please get it done when you’re invited.

We also know that some in our younger age groups have only had one or no vaccination doses so far, so book an appointment or use a walk-in service as soon as possible to keep you, your family and friends as safe as possible.

Vaccinations are also now available for 12 to 15-year-olds. The NHS booking service is expected to be available to them in time for the school holiday next week, so they can book their jab in the same way adults do rather than having it done at school.

First and second dose vaccinations and booster vaccinations can be booked online, and you can find details of walk-in vaccination sites.

Everyone has been working hard to protect themselves and their loved ones so it is very concerning to see our rates climbing again.

The winter period is always a challenging time for the most vulnerable people in our community and our health and care workers, so we must take action now to protect people before case rates spiral.

Lateral flow test kits can be ordered online through the website and are available locally from pharmacies.

Visit the NHS website to find where you can pick one up.

The North Somerset mobile testing van also continues to visit sites across North Somerset seven days a week for assisted tests or collection of home testing kits.

Dates and locations can be found on our website.

The latest test kits give a result in 15 minutes and only require nasal swabs to be collected.