I am writing to inform you about rising cases of COVID-19 in Oxford.
In the 7 days up to 25 September, there were 67 confirmed cases in Oxford, up from 33 in the previous week.
This means that the weekly rate for Oxford currently stands at 43.9 cases per 100,000 population and is at its highest level since May. The city is currently at amber alert status, but is edging closer to a red alert level.
The increase is predominantly among young people in the 18-24 age bracket. The rise is being seen across the city and is not focused on one particular area.
The fact that cases have doubled within the space of a week is a matter of considerable concern. If cases continue to rise at this rate, then it is highly likely that we will need to introduce local control measures. However, this needs to be put into context with the worsening national picture where England average is above the City at 55 cases per 100,000. Therefore the increase is in line with the national picture.
We will be working with our Oxfordshire system partners to issue increased and targeted communications to help contain the situation and reduce the rate of infection. We would like to ask for your assistance to urge residents, particularly those in younger age groups, to continue to follow preventative measures.
We will start public communications this afternoon (30 September), and would very much appreciate your assistance in reinforcing these public messages from then. We are urging people to follow these six simple steps to keep themselves, their family and community safe:
- Keep your distance
- Stick to the rule of six
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water
- Wear a face covering
- Symptoms? Self-isolate and get tested
- Download the NHS COVID-19 app
Further information is available at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/stopthespread. The website includes a weekly update of confirmed cases in Oxfordshire, broken down by district.
Corporate Director of Public Health