Public Health Dorset is warning that the vaccine is not a magic protective cloak as Covid cases and hospitalisations substantially rise in Dorset.
The Dorset Council area recorded 1,956 cases in the Dorset Council area for the most recent seven day period – the highest it’s been throughout the pandemic.
This is more than in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council area where 1,621 were recorded for the most recent seven day period.
Hospitalisations increase by a third in a week
The number of people in hospital in Dorset with Covid-19 has increased by over a third in the past week to 53.
In Swanage, the number of cases is lower than the rest of the Dorset Council area.
There were 24 cases in the seven days to 17th October 2021 with a case rate of 247.4 per 100,000 people.
Public Health Dorset summary on Friday 22nd October 2021
Confirmed cases in last seven days
Dorset: 1,956 (compared to 1,323 in last weekly update)
BCP: 1,621 (compared to 1,061 in last weekly update)
7 day case rates per 100,000
Dorset: 515.0 (compared to 348.3 in last weekly update)
BCP: 408.3 (compared to 267.3 in last weekly update)
Current Covid-19 patients in hospital beds in Dorset: 53 compared to 39 in last update on 15th October
South West and England
For comparison, the case rate for the latest seven day period in the South West is 629.6 and in England it’s 455.7.
“High transmission rates do bring increased risks“
Sam Crowe, Director of Public Health for Dorset Council and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council is now asking residents to be aware of the risks that the virus still poses:
“During the spring and early summer period we managed to get cases right down, but unfortunately that’s not where we are right now.
“We do need to learn to live with Covid-19, but such high transmission rates do bring increased risks, despite the success of the vaccination programme.
“The vaccine gives you good protection against serious illness, but it doesn’t stop you from catching or spreading the virus. It is not a magic protective cloak, and that’s why we need to keep up some other measures to stop the spread of Covid-19.
“We have already seen hospital admissions start to rise, and we cannot run the risk of putting additional pressure on our health and care system this winter as we just don’t have the room for manoeuvre. That’s why we’re asking Dorset residents to do three things now:
- KNOW that your level of personal risk is changing – as cases rise, you have a greater chance of mixing with someone who is infectious
- ACT by taking measures to prevent airborne spread – meet outdoors wherever you can but if you do meet indoors keep windows and doors open and bring extra layers if you need to
- PROTECT yourself and others – do twice weekly lateral flow tests to catch the virus early, and if you’re not yet vaccinated, now is the time to get your jabs.
“If we all work together now, as we have done throughout the pandemic, we can take action to bring cases back down and hopefully prevent the need for any further restrictions in the coming weeks and months.”
New guidance for schools
The highest case rates are amongst school-aged children, although cases are increasing across all age groups.
As a result the directors of public health in the South West, including Sam Crowe have written to schools to provide guidance around some additional measures to prevent the spread of the virus in schools.
This includes reducing large gatherings and mixing between year groups as well as encouraging the use of face coverings when moving around in indoor spaces.