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The number of coronavirus cases in Oxford is starting to rise.

For the week up to 14 August 2020, a total of 28 new cases were recorded in Oxford. This compares with 16 the previous week. There are further signs of a continued rise beyond 14 August. The increase is predominantly among young people aged between 18 and 30. It is partly due to people returning from holidays in Europe, where cases of the virus are rising, and partly to lower levels of adherence to social distancing guidelines among this age group.

Although Oxford’s COVID-19 statistics remain below those of towns such as Blackburn and Oldham, where local control measures have been introduced, they are higher than many other areas in the south-east of the UK. Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire’s Director of Public Health, is calling on Oxford residents to take extra care in order to contain the virus and stop the spread: “We saw a rise in the number of positive cases in Oxford in late July, and this thankfully dropped again as we entered August. It now seems we are back up to those July levels again and they are continuing to rise beyond this. “The new cases are not centred on any venue, place of work or other cluster. They seem to be centred on people aged between 18 and 30, who have been relaxing during the holiday season and not following the measures that have been keeping us all safe.

“My message to young people is, while you may not experience the worst of the symptoms yourself, you may pass it onto loved ones who do. “I would urge everyone to play their part and help stop the spread: keep your distance, wash your hands regularly, wear a face covering, and avoid car sharing if you can. “If you have any coronavirus symptoms, you must self-isolate immediately and call 119 to book a test. And if you’ve been abroad to a country that is not on the exemption list, you must self-isolate for 14 days. “If we all follow this guidance, we will avoid having to introduce measures that we’ve seen elsewhere in England.

“And with the Bank Holiday weekend approaching, this is more important than ever. Many of us may be taking a break, but the virus isn’t. Act now to protect yourself, protect your family and friends, and stop the spread.”

Find out more about how to keep yourself safe, and the latest number of cases in Oxfordshire.