The number of new coronavirus cases in Brighton and Hove has risen again, after dropping sharply for a few days.
In the seven days to Saturday (31 July) the number of new covid cases went up almost 10 per cent to 1,189 from 1,095 in the previous seven days.
Brighton and Hove was one of just 30 out of 315 areas of the country to record a rise as the wider number of new cases continues to fall.
The rate of new cases over the week to last Saturday was 409 for every 100,000 people in Brighton and Hove.
This was up from 376 in the seven days to Saturday 24 July and higher than the England average of 284.
It was also the highest rate of new infections in the south east, including London.
The director of public health in Brighton and Hove, Alistair Hill, said that he was concerned that large social gatherings could lead to more transmission and increase the infection rate.
He said: “We’re expecting things to be especially busy this weekend. The virus is still circulating among us and it spreads most quickly and easily when people get together in groups.
“I’m asking everyone to do what we can to prevent cases from rising further and protect our communities.
“The single most important thing is, if you have any of the covid-19 symptoms like a cough, fever, change to sense of taste or smell – even if very mild – you must stay home and book a PCR test. Please do not go out.
“Please do regular symptom-free lateral flow tests at home twice a week, especially if you’re going out to meet friends and family. This is especially important as some people can catch and spread the virus without knowing it.
“We’re hearing that some people are ignoring positive lateral flow test results because they don’t feel ill. I cannot stress too highly that this is a very bad idea.
“There are still too many unprotected people who could become very unwell if they come into contact with someone who is carrying the virus. All positive lateral flow tests must be followed up with a PCR test while you self-isolate.
“Of course, If you are asked by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate because you have been in contact with someone how has tested positive, please do so.
“The delta variant of the virus is very contagious and the best way to keep everyone safe is to play safe.
“All the covid safety habits still hold true. I recommend keeping a face covering in your pocket to wear in busy places where you’ll be up close with people you don’t usually meet.
“It’s safest to get together outside or keep windows and doors open to let fresh air circulate when indoors.
“Meet in small groups if you can and try to keep space between you. And the good hand hygiene habits never grow old.
“By far the best protection from the covid-19 virus is to be vaccinated. If you haven’t done it yet, please don’t put if off any longer.”