People across South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse are being urged to protect their friends and family this Christmas and help to stop the spread of Covid-19.
The number of recorded positive cases of Covid-19 has risen significantly in Oxfordshire since the national lockdown ended, and while the number remains relatively low in comparison to other areas there is a growing risk that it will continue to increase, putting vulnerable people at risk. A small number of communities have also experienced local outbreaks which could cause problems if allowed to spread.
In the seven days up to 11 December, the number of positive tests rose by 53 per cent in South and 41 per cent in Vale. The latest figures show the transmission rate in Vale of White Horse at 105.9 per 100,000 (up from 62.2) and in South Oxfordshire at 119.7 (up from 83.8).
With the festive period fast approaching, to help protect friends and family, anyone who intends to form a ‘Christmas bubble’ between 23 and 27 December should now reduce all unnecessary contact with other people. For guidance on the Christmas period visit gov.uk/guidance/guidance-for-the-christmas-period
If you have symptoms you must self-isolate for ten days and please book a test via nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. There are plenty of slots available.
If you are self-isolating, or struggling to pay for essentials such as food and heating, and may need help over the Christmas period, but you do not have people nearby who can assist you, please contact our Community Hub as soon as possible on 01235 422600. Many support services are running a reduced or emergency only service over Christmas so it is important to arrange any help you may need now.
Cllr Emily Smith, Leader of Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “We know many people will be desperate to see friends and family over Christmas, however it’s incredibly important that you are careful and don’t put others at risk. If you are forming a Christmas bubble, please reduce any unnecessary contact with other people now.
“If you or someone you know doesn’t feel it is safe and would rather stay alone or with just within your own household over Christmas, please ensure that you have the necessary support available should you need it and make arrangements so that no one feels alone on Christmas Day.”
Cllr Sue Cooper, Leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “Christmas will obviously be very different for people this year and I’m sure everyone will try to make the best of it. However, it is so important that we keep safe and don’t risk spreading the virus to vulnerable people, including our own friends and family.
“If you have Covid symptoms you must isolate and please get a test as soon as possible. If you intend to form a Christmas bubble, to help protect your loved ones please reduce any unnecessary contact with other people immediately and be particularly careful if you are out hunting for presents, and please be extra careful if you will be spending time in areas where the rate is higher.”