Residents of SOMERSET are urged to remain cautious as Covid-19 cases rise in the county.
Somerset County Council (SCC) public health officials have reminded residents to continue to take precautions against the virus.
Last month, the country returned to Plan A guidelines following an announcement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
This means working from home is no longer mandatory, Covid passes have become voluntary and face coverings are no longer mandatory in indoor venues.
READ MORE: The end of Plan B: Latest changes to England’s coronavirus rules
For some, it created a sense of “back to normal,” says SCC.
Professor Trudi Grant, CSC’s director of public health, said: ‘Case rates remain very high across the county and the new ‘Omicron’ virus variant is highly transmissible.
“Although hospitalizations have stabilized, we still need to take as many precautions as possible in our daily lives.
“It remains important to continue wearing a face covering in crowded or indoor spaces, to avoid exhaling infectious Covid-19 particles that may be airborne.
“If you encounter people outside your household indoors, it’s a good idea to open windows to let in fresh air and reduce the risk of catching and spreading Covid-19. is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of Covid.
“Another simple measure to reduce transmission is to perform lateral flow tests regularly, especially before meeting people, especially those who are less healthy.
“Lateral flow tests help identify those of us infected with Covid-19 who do not have symptoms but could still be spreading the virus unknowingly. If you have symptoms then you should book a PCR test and isolate yourself until you get the results.”
If a person tests positive on a PCR, this will be automatically reported by the laboratory performing the test, but if a lateral flow test result is positive, this must be reported by the individual themselves.
After testing positive, everyone should continue to follow the latest isolation guidelines.
UK Government figures show Covid re-infections now account for one in 10 cases in the wave of Omicron variants, meaning if someone has ever had Covid-19 they are highly likely to have it catch again.
Trudi added: “At the end of the day, our main defense against becoming seriously ill with Covid-19 is to get vaccinated. Omicron is not a benign virus for many people, and those who are unvaccinated or have underlying health conditions can become extremely ill.
“It’s still not too late to get your first, second or booster vaccination and I really urge anyone who has postponed it to book your appointment online today, or by calling 119.
“All of these steps are simple and have very little impact on our ability to go about our daily lives and have fun, but they make a big difference when it comes to helping us stay safe here in Somerset. ”
For all the latest Covid-19 guidance and rules around isolation, visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
To find the latest pop-up vaccination sites, visit nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination.