In the seven days up to 16 July the number of confirmed new Covid-19 cases in Brighton & Hove rose from 1270 in the previous week to 1584. That’s a 23% increase and equivalent to a weekly rate of 544.5 per 100,000 residents, up from 436.6 per 100,000 the week before.
We’re still higher than the South East rate of 405 per 100,000 and the England rate of 510.9 per 100,000.
When mandatory Covid-19 safety measures were lifted on Monday, confirmed cases of the disease in our city had returned to similar levels as in January.
The NHS vaccination programme has helped to control the impact of the disease. But this week local hospitals have started to see an increase in the number of people admitted with Covid-19, including critical care.
Nicola Rosenberg, Public Health Consultant with Brighton & Hove City Council, explains why getting vaccinated is the best defence against Covid-19 and what we can all do to protect each other after Freedom Day now that confirmed case rates are rising so steeply.
“We know that some of the patients admitted to hospital this week with Covid-19 had not been vaccinated. Nationally 60% of all hospital admissions with Covid are not vaccinated.
"We’re very concerned that not enough people in Brighton & Hove have had the vaccine yet, only 52% of adults have had both doses. There are still too many unprotected people in our community who could become very unwell if they catch the virus.
“The full course of two doses of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines reduce the risk of needing hospital treatment for Covid-19 by more than 93%.
"I encourage everyone in the city to take up the vaccination offer and to support their friends and family to do so and to complete the full course of both doses of the vaccine. The 2nd dose is available eight weeks after the first.
“Although ‘freedom-day’ was welcomed by many, it brought great anxiety for others. We know that a lot of people have retreated back indoors for fear of being exposed to the virus.
“Many shops and hospitality venues are asking customers and staff to continue to wear face coverings if they can. We fully support this and it is in line with government guidance.
“We can all help to contain the spread of the virus by keeping up with the basic good hygiene habits we’ve learned during the pandemic and to meet outdoors in fresh air as much as we can – we can all take advantage of this now that summer is here.
“Other ways we can all help keep each other safe are by taking lateral flow Covid tests twice a week, to self-isolate at the first sign of any symptoms, and get a PCR test or self-isolate if asked by NHS test and trace to do so.
“Please don’t throw your face coverings away just yet. They will be useful so you can be considerate of other people when out and about."