In the last week there were 358 new positive tests recorded locally and there were 88 people in hospital, including some critically ill in intensive care.
And new figures published by National Records of Scotland also revealed that 24 people in Dumfries and Galloway have died of covid so far in the first three weeks of 2021 – compared to 79 in total last year.
NHS Dumfries and Galloway chief executive Jeff Ace, above, stressed hospitals are under huge strain and said: “It seems wrong when we’ve had such a great public response and when numbers are dropping to then ask people to go further and do more – but it really is vital that they do.
“The truth is, what happens in Dumfries and Galloway is down to every one of us, individually, and our actions.
“In the past week we had up to 70 cases of covid in hospital at a single point, which may not sound a lot in national terms but is a huge impact on a small region like ours, with much smaller scale systems.
“Even with this fall in numbers it will take time for that to translate into fewer cases needing urgent treatment. And if we level out at these current rates, it’s going to be incredibly difficult to sustain, or to see an immediate path out of lockdown – as cases would likely take off again from a far higher starting point than when this outbreak began.”
Mr Ace urged everyone to be strict on social distancing and self isolate and test as soon as they spot symptoms.
He added: “So many people in this outbreak are experiencing very minor symptoms, but this doesn’t mean that it won’t potentially cause serious illness for anyone else they expose to the virus.”