With cases of Covid-19 increasing among school age children and young adults, Councillor Phélim MacCafferty, Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council, asks everyone to get back into the symptom-free testing routine after the half term break.
“Although cases among the 60+ age group remain extremely low, of the 87 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the city this week, some of the highest rates are in school aged children and young adults. This picture reflects what’s happening around the country and is concerning as younger people who’ve yet to be vaccinated can still become unwell, while there’s increasing evidence of how things like long Covid affect children.
“A single case reminds us we are still living with the reality of a pandemic. We are working closely with our schools and head teachers to ensure that cases are found, pupils and staff who test positive or who are close contacts isolate as we work to keep the city as safe as possible.
“The rise in cases among younger people demonstrates the power of the NHS vaccination programme, because older adults will have had the chance to get both vaccinations, but young people are still waiting for theirs. It’s a timely reminder in the same week that everyone over the age of 25 became eligible, that you should get your vaccination as soon as it’s offered.
“I continue to raise concerns with the further relaxation of Covid guidelines. More social mixing is seeing cases rise while the spread of the more infectious Delta variant means cases are almost certainly going to increase further.
“We see an increase in cases because the virus spreads when people mix in close contact with each other, particularly indoors. Even after the first vaccination it’s still possible to catch and give the virus between vaccinations so we all need to continue exercising caution and be considerate of each other.
“During the half term holiday last week we saw a drop in the number of symptom-free lateral flow tests registered in the city. These regular symptom free tests are vitally important because at the time they take the test they help people find out if they’ve caught the virus in time to stop it spreading.
“I urge everyone in the city to keep up testing twice a week while the NHS vaccination programme rolls out. We should all see routine testing as another way to protect each other alongside keeping a safe distance, washing hands and wearing a face mask. This is about all of us continuing to keep each other safe and save lives.”