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Euro celebrations linked to corona rise

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By Fiona Reid
Front
Euro celebrations linked to corona rise

SOCIALISATION and excitement around the Euros football contest is being blamed for an increase in covid cases in the region and some new hospitalisations.

In the seven days up to yesterday there were 119 new cases detected in Dumfries and Galloway and on Tuesday, six people were reported to be in hospital.

This was up from 57 cases in the week before and no hospitalisations, while numbers of close contacts also increased from 410 to 446.

In comparison, in the first week of March there were two cases and four close contacts.

And health bosses say interaction during the Euros is among the contributing factors.

Consultant in public health Dr Andrew Rideout said: “The new Delta Variant is more transmissible than previous versions of the virus, which means that it doesn’t take very much for it to move from person to person.

“The majority of new cases are developing through encounters outwith households or the workplace. A total of 61 per cent of positive cases resulted through non-household and non-workplace encounters.

“We’re currently dealing with a number of cases which result from interaction during the Euros, when a swell of excitement and camaraderie might have made it more difficult to ensure we were strictly adhering to the rules.

“However, it’s so important that we do keep following the rules at all times in order to help limit the spread and the resulting impact on our communities.

He says local data shows just how transmissible the new variant is proving, adding: “Our new local data shows that 58 per cent of people who were identified as a close contact of someone with Covid-19 went on to develop the coronavirus themselves.

“As cases grow within the community, we’re starting to see people across a variety of ages being admitted to hospital with COVID.

“The response to increased cases puts real pressures on the ability for services to operate, and for businesses to function.”

The doctor stressed the importance of continuing to distance, hand wash and wear of face coverings to help slow the spread and allow the vaccination programme to finish.

He added: “Beyond firmly sticking to the rules, a key to all of this is taking up quick and easy opportunities to get tested for covid. This is particularly true if you’re planning to meet up with people as rules allow, or are perhaps planning to travel outwith the region.

“Twice weekly testing is available everywhere in Scotland for free. Making testing a part of your typical week can provide you with an assurance while also helping to safeguard your community.

“We need everyone’s help to provide the vaccination programme with enough time to complete its work and allow us to live alongside this potentially very serious virus.”

* For information on testing arrangements, visit www.nhsdg.co.uk/testing

Front, Moffat

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