Luton public health chief urges residents to take extra care as Covid-19 cases rise in surrounding towns

Whilst lockdown is easing people cannot afford to be complacent

Friday, 21st May 2021, 2:30 pm
Updated Friday, 21st May 2021, 2:32 pm

The director of public health for Luton Lucy Hubber, is urging residents to take extra care as the number of Covid-19 cases has risen in the surrounding areas this week.

In the seven days up to May 15, Luton recorded 77 cases - an incidence rate of 36.1 per 100,000, in comparison Bedford recorded 220 cases - an incidence rate of 127 per 100,000 population.

Nationally there is a worrying number of confirmed cases of variants of concern (VOC) of the Covid-19 virus, with outbreaks in Luton's neighbouring boroughs leading to large increases in cases.

Coronavirus stock image
Coronavirus stock image

One particular VOC - the variant first identified in India - is likely to be more transmissible than previous variants so the council is urging everyone to be vigilant and not complacent, particularly now that more places are open to the public.

Whilst lockdown is easing people cannot afford to be complacent if we want the summer to be more ‘normal’.

Everyone must therefore keep following the government guidelines and ensure that they continue with the routine of:

- hands

- face

- space

- fresh air.

While we are now allowed to meet a small number of friends and family inside, it is much safer to meet people outdoors. If meeting anyone indoors, ensure the room is well ventilated, open windows and do not spend too long inside.

Luton Council is still encouraging those who live, work or study in Luton to get tested twice a week in order to limit the spread of the virus, which is possible to have without showing any of the symptoms. Information on testing is available on the council’s website.

The vaccine is the single best defence against Covid and there is no evidence that the new variant is resistant to the vaccine, so it’s even more important that you take up the offer of vaccination when it is available to you.

The more data that accumulates around the different vaccines only seeks to underline not only how safe they are, but what remarkably high levels of protection they give while at the same time significantly reducing levels of transmission.

Cllr Khtija Malik, portfolio holder for public health, said: “As restrictions are eased it is even more important that people protect themselves.

"Our COVID-19 rates in Luton fluctuate which means we cannot let our guard down.

"With this new VOC and relatively low vaccination numbers, it is even more important that our communities continue to remember to wear face coverings, wash hands and keep a distance from others.

"I would urge you or anyone you know who is eligible and hasn’t been vaccinated yet to come forward and make use of the walk-in centres over the next week, or to book via your GP or use the online National Booking Service, or call 119 free of charge, between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.

"The vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others.”

Currently in Luton there are walk-in vaccination clinics to encourage more people to have the vaccine. More details and timings can be found on the NHS BLMK CCG website - www.blmkccg.nhs.uk/covid-19.

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