This is a Covid-19 update from Alison Challenger, Director of Public Health for West Sussex.
West Sussex has reached a significant step on the road to recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, as nationally we move to the government’s Plan A response, but we must step forward with caution.
The overall number of people reporting a positive test in West Sussex has been reducing in recent weeks, which is of course good news, but case rates are still high. The latest figures (15 to 21 January) show that in one week there were more than 9,000 positive cases across the county.
It is important that people understand this latest announcement does not signal the end of the pandemic.
I strongly encourage you to continue to take precautionary measures that will help keep you, your family, friends and community as safe as possible.
Hands, face, space and fresh air guidance
By taking measures to avoid spreading Covid-19, you will also help ease the pressures on our local NHS services. Washing your hands regularly, wearing face masks in indoor and crowded places, giving people space and allowing opening a window or door to help circulate the air in enclosed rooms are still effective and sensible precautions we can take to remain safe.
Vaccination remains our best defence against the virus. There are still plenty of opportunities to get your vaccinations, if you haven’t already. Walk-in sessions are being held across West Sussex offering first, second and booster doses. They are free and you can arrange free return travel if needed.
You can of course also still book a Covid-19 vaccination appointment via the national booking website if you would prefer to have a pre-arranged time.
About 1 in 3 people with Covid-19 do not have symptoms, but can still infect others. That is why testing yourself regularly, even if you are not displaying any symptoms of coronavirus, is also so important.
The challenges we have all faced throughout the pandemic have been unprecedented. I want to thank everybody who has had their vaccinations, tested regularly and isolated to protect their loved ones and communities.
The good news is that we are moving the right direction, but it remains important that we all still play our part. Please, let’s all help keep West Sussex safe.
West Sussex Director of Public Health