A STUBBORNLY high number of new COVID-19 cases was seen in Dumfries and Galloway in the week ending Sunday July 25, standing at 215 compared to 220 the week before.
Numbers of identified close contacts of cases actually increased, rising from 560 to 598.
Public Health Consultant Dr Andrew Rideout said: “Although cases of COVID-19 across Scotland are falling, which is very welcome, numbers in Dumfries and Galloway are remaining stubbornly static.
“Increasingly, the concern is that, as we approach further relaxations around restrictions which limit spread, the number within our region might actually increase.
“We continue to see people being admitted to hospital with COVID-19 although thankfully at much lower numbers than previous waves.
“Thankfully, vaccinations are playing a significant role in preventing hospitalisations and deaths from COVID-19.
“However, it’s very important for the welfare of everyone in our region and the sustainability of our services that we don’t see a further increase in case numbers.
“You may be aware of how stretched our health and social care services already are at present – currently operating within the kinds of pressures you might expect in the most difficult winter period, rather than the height of summer.
“So we’d ask everyone to not just continue to follow the national rules aimed at preventing COVID spread, but to go further wherever possible – to apply all that we’ve learned in the last 18 months to drive down these numbers as much as possible.
“It’s the same key advice – clean your hands regularly, wear a face covering in indoor public settings, maintain a physical distance from others, get vaccinated, and employ regular testing.
“It’s considering our interactions, making outdoor meetings where COVID doesn’t spread so easily a preference, and making sure rooms are well ventilated when we do meet indoors.
“Crucially, if you do experience even the very slightest symptoms of COVID-19 please don’t dismiss this as a summer cold. Immediately self-isolate along with your household and arrange to be tested.
“A reminder that the key symptoms of COVID-19 are:
“New, continuous cough
“Change to or loss of sense of taste and/or smell.
“Information on how to access testing can be found by visiting www.nhsdg.co.uk/testing/
“For information on COVID-19 vaccinations, visit www.nhsdg.co.uk/vaccines/
“Even though the sun has been shining, and summer holidays have arrived for many, it really is so important that we enjoy this period while continuing to work to prevent COVID-19 from threatening the welfare of our region’s population, and impacting on its essential services.
“Any visitors to the region during this summer period are invited to access the same testing opportunities.
“Hopefully we’re moving towards something closer to normality, but what will support this is people in Dumfries and Galloway doing everything we can to stop the spread and prevent new cases.”