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Residents urged to get Covid tested and vaccinated as rates rise

The need for Covid testing remains as high as ever in our despite rules around self-isolation changing as cases of the virus continue to rise.

Covid-19 rates in Cambridgeshire have risen sharply and are now nearly as high as they were in January during the winter peak. There are currently 310.3 cases per 100,000 population, which is a 14.2 per cent increase on the same time last week.

There have been sharp rises across all districts, including 39.8 per cent in Fenland where cases are up almost 40 per cent (39.8 per cent) and 36.8 per cent in East Cambridgeshire, while Cambridge has the highest rate of 389.4 cases per 100,000 population. These rates are also higher than the national average which is 306.4 cases per 100,000 population, and the regional average which is 264.5 per 100,000.

There remains concerns that in the county, the number of people who have had both doses of a Covid vaccine is 68.4 per cent, compared to 76.4 per cent nationally. This is even lower in Cambridge where just 49 per cent of people have had both doses.

Under new rules, those who are double jabbed and under 18s identified as close contacts of positive Covid-19 cases no longer need to self-isolate.

However, they are still being advised to get a free PCR test as soon as possible. The advice also applies to anyone who develops Covid-19 symptoms who are being urged to self-isolate until the results of a PCR test come back.

The changes apply to people who have received their final dose of the vaccine at least 14 days prior to contact with a positive case.

Those not fully vaccinated will still need to isolate if they are contacts and everyone will still have to isolate if they test positive, to protect themselves and others, irrespective of their vaccination status or age, in order to break onwards chains of transmission.

As double jabbed people identified as close contacts are still at risk of being infected, residents are advised to consider other precautions such as wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces and limiting contact with other people, especially with anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable. They will not be required to self-isolate while they wait for the results of a PCR test.

Jyoti Atri, director of public health for Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “While the risk of getting seriously ill is lower among the under 30s, it is becoming increasingly clear that individuals who are unvaccinated and catch the virus are more likely to pass it on to others, including those who are more vulnerable.

“So it remains crucial to get vaccinated. There are a number of walk-in clinics where you can get a jab and it’s just an eight week gap before you can get a second dose.

“But remember that you can still catch the virus if you have been vaccinated, so please continue to wear a mask and take necessary precautions limiting contact with people who are extremely vulnerable.”

There remains a large amount of support for people who are required to self-isolate, while those who breach the new rules can be fined.

Details of where you can get a Covid vaccine are available at: https://www.thevaccinators.co.uk/.

Information on what support is available for people needing to self-isolate is available at: https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/coronavirus.

To find out how to get a test, visit: www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-tes

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