Warning issued after surge in Omicron cases in Leicestershire
A surge in Omicron cases has prompted Leicestershire’s top health official to issue a warning to residents ahead of the Christmas period.
There has been a 10-fold rise in the number of people with the highly infectious new variant of coronavirus in the last week.
Despite an absence of legal restrictions limiting mixing over the festive season, county council director of public health, Mike Sandys, has reminded people they will will need to self-isolate if they catch Omicron or the Delta variant while socialising which might mean they can’t see loved ones.
He said: “The increasing rate of cases of the Omicron variant we are seeing now is really worrying.
“In order to try to slow the spread of this highly infectious virus I’d ask people to think long and hard about who they mix with over the coming weeks.
“I know this is difficult.
“Not mixing more than we have to and prioritising the gatherings that are most important to us will help hold back the wave of infection that is happening right now.
“Everyone wants to see their families at this time of year and the best way to do that is to limit how much you mix with others and reduce your chance of getting infected.”
Mr Sandys added: “It’s also extremely important that people follow the government advice and start working from home if they can.
“Please also get vaccinated, if you have not already done so.
“Many people are getting infected and the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from becoming very ill.”
County Hall’s cabinet lead member for public health, Councillor Louise Richardson, said: “We want everybody to have a happy Christmas and New Year but also a healthy one.
“The new variant’s arrival puts us all in a position we hoped not to be in so we are again asking people to be careful and sensible and do their upmost to try to avoid being infected.
“I’d ask people to do what they can to protect themselves, their friends and family and the NHS.”
In the Melton borough, the infection rate is slightly below the England average after 262 cases were detected in the week to December 12.
Latest figures show 83 per cent of eligible residents are fully vaccinated and half of all them have had the booster jab.
Statistics show 124 Melton borough people with Covid have died since the pandemic began in Marchg 2020.