Caution is the word

A rise in the number of Covid 19 cases has prompted a reminder for families to stay vigilant to the ever-present risks – especially during summer festivities involving older family members.

That is the message coming from Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire’s leading health officials as cases of Covid-19 across the region continue to rise.

The call to act cautiously, particularly in light of a spike in local coronavirus cases, comes ahead of the Islamic holiday Eid al-Adha, when it is expected that young and old will come together to celebrate.

As of Wednesday 29 June, the region’s three hospitals – the Royal United Hospital in Bath, the Great Western Hospital in Swindon and Salisbury District Hospital – were caring for a total of 118 people with confirmed Covid-19.

This is an increase of 39 percent on the previous week, when the number of coronavirus patients at the three sites stood at 85.

Dr Amanda Webb, Chief Medical Officer, said: “History tells us that it does not take long for Covid-19 cases to increase dramatically, and with families coming together over the coming days to celebrate Eid, or just to enjoy the warmer weather, it is important that we all remain vigilant.

“If it’s possible to do so, take celebrations outside, where the risk of passing on the virus is lower or, if the weather isn’t good, try to open doors and windows to help fresh air keep crowded rooms ventilated.

“These small steps, along with getting all necessary Covid-19 vaccinations, will help to keep friends and family, especially those who may be older or living with a long-term health condition, safe while we enjoy the summer months.”

While Covid-19 cases are increasing locally, the number of people dying from coronavirus has thankfully remained low.

Nevertheless, people showing signs of possible coronavirus are advised to limit their contact with others in order to help stop transmission.

In recent months, the symptoms of Covid-19 have been expanded to include many that are synonymous with other seasonal illnesses, such as colds, flu and hay fever.

Headaches, runny noses, sore throats, general fatigue, shortness of breath and diarrhoea are all possible signs of Covid-19, and many people who now test positive

no longer experience the well-publicised coronavirus symptoms of a cough, high temperature or a change to their taste or smell.

The Covid-19 vaccine, which has been given out more than 2.2 million times in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire, is a proven way for people to build immunity against the virus, and remains available from a wide range of local locations.

Among the sites continuing to provide the vaccine are Bath Racecourse, the Steam Museum in Swindon and Salisbury City Hall, as well as a number of more local venues, such as GP practices and community pharmacies.

All local vaccination sites, including those offering the jab without the need for an appointment, are listed online at http://www.nhs.uk.

Further information about the local rollout of the vaccine can be found online at http://www.bsw.icb.nhs.uk.