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I Won't Back Down

Tom Petty

Oxford “moving in direction” of local lockdown says Public Health Expert

The County Council says measures to “slam the brakes” on the City’s emergence from lockdown have moved a step closer.

Oxford’s Covid-19 numbers have risen again with 18-29-year-olds disportionately affected. 

A mobile testing unit will be set up on Friday (28/08) until Sunday, open between 10am and 4.30pm behind the Cowley Road Tesco. Authorities fear that the bank holiday weekend could cause a jump in numbers. 

During the week ending 14th August there were 16 cases in the city, a week later this had risen to 28, the most recent figures - from the week ending the 21st, show 41 cases.  

The latest figures are representative of 26.9 cases per 100,000, which the Council says “sees the city moving ever closer to figures in parts of the country that have been labelled by central Government as areas of concern or that require intervention.”

Leicester had a seven day infection rate of 135 cases per 100,000 when it’s local lockdown was announced. 

Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire County Council's Director for Public Health, said: "With a Bank Holiday coming up, the need for people to abide by all of the things that we know stop the spread of this virus is greater than ever.

"We can see the number of people contracting COVID is increasing per 100,000 of the population on a day-by-day basis and it is very unsettling. Undoubtedly the 18-29 year age group is driving this rise in cases.

"We were able to leave lockdown and stay out of it because we were suppressing the virus locally by our own actions. We were keeping our distance from each other, sanitising and wearing masks. It feels to me like some people now believe the virus is gone for good. I can assure you that it hasn't.

"My appeal to everyone in Oxford – and 18 to 29 year olds in particular – is to remember what got us out of lockdown. Do we really want to end up with the kind of local control measures we have seen introduced in various parts of Lancashire, Yorkshire, Leicester and Aberdeen?

"At the minute it feels like we are moving in that direction. People need to be aware their behaviour is putting themselves and others at risk. If you're aged 18 to 29 and catch COVID-19, you are absolutely not guaranteed to get away with the mildest symptoms. Even mild symptoms are a struggle, while longer-term symptoms can include chronic fatigue, muscle weakness and memory loss.

"Equally you may well pass this on to older or more vulnerable people. How would you feel if you knew that someone was in hospital in a ventilator with their life under threat because you'd passed COVID-19 on to them?

"Now is the time to act to #stopthespread. I've said it over and over – this whole situation is in our own hands. We all need to act responsibly and follow the very simple advice. If we do that collectively, we will reverse this upward trend that we are seeing in Oxford. If we don't bring the infection rate under control then measures will be introduced of the kind we've seen elsewhere in the country. It's that simple."


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