In recent weeks we have seen a rise in cases in the south east with a shift in the dominant strain from the Omicron BA.2 variant. The latest data indicates that Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 now account for more than half of rising COVID-19 cases in the UK and are driving the recent increase in infections.
We are fortunate that so far the rise in cases has not led to an increase in hospital admissions or deaths and this is down to the efficacy of the vaccine and the incredible efforts of people across the country getting vaccinated.
We’ve learned so much in the last two years but as we move to living with COVID-19 on a long-term basis, every one of us needs to remain vigilant, take precautions, and ensure that we’re up to date with our COVID-19 vaccinations. We need to continue to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe and vaccination is the best form of defence we have. It’s never too late to get vaccinated.
Remember we can all play our part - stay at home if you have any respiratory symptoms or a fever and limit contact with others until you are feeling better, particularly if they are likely to be at greater risk if they contract COVID-19.
Face coverings and hand washing still remain important in reducing transmission, consider wearing a face covering in crowded, enclosed spaces and washing your hands thoroughly and often, especially before and after getting on public transport or getting in from work, shops or the pub.
Meeting others outside is much safer than indoors as the fresh air helps to blow the COVID-19 particles away. So, make the most of the warm weather over the summer and meet family and friends outside. Or if you meet indoors, let the fresh air in by opening doors and windows.
Let’s enjoy the summer and our regained freedoms but keep in mind that COVID-19 hasn’t gone away and we all need to do our bit to live safely.