Oxfordshire residents urged to follow the rules as coronavirus cases rise again

PIC: Steve Parsons / PA Wire

1,111 cases have been reported for the week ending November 6th.

National statistics show 965 people tested positive in Oxfordshire in that one week - but discrepancies mean that Oxford University cases are currently still not included in the Oxfordshire-wide data.

So, the estimate for the number of cases INCLUDING Oxford University in the week ending November 6th, is in fact 1,111.

That's a rise from 828 in the previous week, or 1,026 if you include the University's own figures.

But, Oxfordshire County Council is reassuring residents that the figures 'don't mean lockdown isn't working' as any impact takes time to translate into data. 

It says the rise in COVID-19 cases comes 'as no surprise to public health officers' as the county and country waits to see the impact of national lockdown measures that came into place on November 5th.

There has also been a further spread into a wider range of age groups in Oxfordshire, according to the council.

Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire's Director for Public Health, said: "These figures don't mean lockdown isn't working - it's just that it is far too early for any impact to have been seen in the statistics just yet. We were expecting to see cases continue to rise given that only a short period has elapsed since the start of lockdown. However, the further rise in cases in Oxfordshire does emphasise the need for people to abide by the lockdown rules in a collective effort to drive down cases. 

"Apart from rising cases, there is a noticeable increase in transmission through the various age groups - not just in the 18 - 24 year old age group, which was the case earlier in the autumn. 

"I make no apology for repeating myself in an effort to get the message across - this virus thrives on people being in close contact with each other. We saw earlier this year the impact social distancing can have in managing COVID-19. That's why the government has reintroduced lockdown measures across the country.

"The rules are only as good as people abiding by them. I would like to thank people for sticking to the rules and strongly appeal to them to continue to do so. Stay at home, wash your hands regularly, don't mix households, wear a face-covering and use the capacity we have in place for testing in Oxfordshire. If we do all of these things then we have good reason to hope that we will bring COVID-19 figures down in the same way that we did in the spring.

"There's been a lot in the news about a vaccine in recent days. That's a welcome development but for the immediate future it doesn't change the way we should behave in any way."

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