The number of new coronavirus cases in Brighton and Hove has fallen by more than a third in just a week, according to the latest figures published by Public Health England.
There were 1,018 new covid cases in the seven days to Sunday 25 July, down 633 from 1,651 in the previous seven days – a fall of 38 per cent.
And the rate of new cases dropped from 568 for every 100,000 people to 350, with Brighton and Hove still above the England average rate of 332.
There have been suggestions that the number of new cases, which has been falling across the country, may be linked to start of the school holidays.
Most school children are now no longer routinely testing for the virus, making it likely that some cases will go undetected. Overall, tests are down by more than 3,000 a day.
Deaths remain low, with seven since the start of April. Two people who died this month had covid-19 mentioned on their death certificate, bringing the total since the pandemic started to 475.
The number of people with the virus in the Royal Sussex County Hospital, in Brighton, went up to 27 yesterday (Wednesday 26 July) – four more than the day before.
The number requiring high dependency or intensive care beds fell to five or fewer – down from six the day before.
The director of public health for Brighton and Hove, Alistair Hill, said that such a big drop in the number of new cases “can seem impressive (but) it isn’t time to relax just yet”.
He said: “The virus is spreading in all age groups, not just young people.
“Unfortunately, there are now in-patients with covid in our local hospital although the numbers are lower than earlier in the pandemic thanks to the effectiveness of the vaccines.
“Our local vaccination programme has delivered a first vaccine dose to nearly three quarters of our residents.
“However, almost one in two adults in Brighton and Hove are not yet fully vaccinated with two doses. To get the best protection the full course of two jabs is needed.
“I’m asking everyone who is able to be vaccinated, but has not yet done so, to please get the first dose as soon as possible – and everyone who has already had a first jab to get the second dose at eight weeks for maximum protection.
“It is easy to get first and second vaccinations with walk-in appointments available at the Brighton Centre every day from 8.30am to 7pm – and appointments can be booked online.
“Walk-in vaccination clinics are also running this weekend at Hove Lawns on Saturday 31 July and Waitrose car park on Sunday 1 August from 10.30am to 2.30pm.
“Another issue of concern is the reports we’re hearing that after covid regulations were lifted on Monday 19 July, many people in our community no longer feel safe going to public places.
“I want to ask everyone to please be mindful that not everyone you encounter feels comfortable in busy places. Many are choosing to keep wearing face coverings in public to protect themselves and others.
“And I want to reassure those who are concerned that, despite the photos in the media of crowding in some popular places, this is not common across the whole city.
“There are plenty of areas where it is possible to maintain social distancing when shopping, socialising and exercising safely.
“Although masks are no longer mandatory, lots of local businesses are encouraging staff and customers to still wear them if they want to – and we very much support this.
“Given the high levels of the virus in the city, I want to encourage everyone who wants to to continue to wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed spaces where you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet – and to maintain social distancing in public when you can.”
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