Despite a slight decline in the spread of COVID-19 within Oxfordshire, infection rates are still higher than they were in December.

According to figures published by Oxford City Council, for the week ending 22 January, 294.7 cases per 100,000 people were identified in Oxfordshire. This is a decline from 399.5 the previous week. However, this still exceeds the figure of 83.7 per 100,000 on 4 December by more than three times.

“The latest covid figures for Oxford are reducing, but are still higher than when we went into lockdown. It’s really important that everyone, even those who have had the vaccine, sticks to the lockdown rules to keep figures falling,” Councillor Louise Upton, Cabinet Member for Safer, Healthy Oxford said in a press release on the Oxford City Council website. 

While acknowledging the progress of the vaccination programme, Val Messenger, the Deputy Director for Public Health of Oxfordshire County Council, reiterated the importance of abiding by the lockdown restrictions, including for those who have been vaccinated. 

“The vaccination programme continues to make excellent progress in Oxfordshire, and we are on track on schedule [sic] to achieve the government target of the top four priority groups being vaccinated by mid-February.

“However, we must remember that those who have been vaccinated will not have full protection until at least three weeks after they have received their second dose. Moreover, those who have received the vaccine could still pass on the virus to others. So we can’t afford to let our guard down,” Messenger said in a statement published on the Oxford City Council website.

As an additional measure in the fight against COVID-19, community testing will also be introduced in Oxfordshire in early February. “It will allow us to better identify asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19, and so help us more effectively control the virus and stop the spread,” Messenger added.

In the 7 days leading up to 26 January, 229.2 per 100,000 people in Oxfordshire tested positive for coronavirus, according to official UK government data. This is slightly below the national rate of 273.3 within the same period.

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