The government is encouraging everyone to take part in twice-weekly rapid lateral flow device (LFD) testing. This regular testing will help identify positive tests and stop the spread of the virus.
Ansaf Azhar message: Lifting of national COVID-19 restrictions and rising cases in Oxfordshire
Hi everyone. I'm Ansaf Azhar. I'm the Director of Public Health for Oxfordshire.
And, today I want to talk a little bit about our current situation beyond 19th July. So, for many of us 19th July signals the lifting of restrictions, easing of lockdown and a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. And I agree with this. We've had a rough 18 months. But we are starting to see some positives. The vaccination programme across the country has been massively successful. It has helped to weaken the link between rising cases and those who are actually getting admitted to hospital with severe illness with COVID-19. So, that is good news.
So, in Oxfordshire we have delivered over 868,000 vaccinations. 360,000 second doses. So, a big thank you for everyone who was involved in this massive, massively successful effort, and for those who came forward to have their vaccination. If you haven't had your vaccination, please do come forward, have your jab. It'll help to protect yourself and your community, and your loved ones around you. It's simple, safe and you can get it done very, very quickly.
However, despite all this, we are still seeing case rates rising across the county. Rises that we're seeing in the city recently and the rises that we're seeing currently in the rest of the county are real examples of the fact that the pandemic is still alive. So, we're asking everyone as we move away from regulation to more towards personal responsibility, to maintain some of the good habits that we have developed over the last 18 months. Simple, pragmatic, common sense approach to help contain this pandemic and reduce the spread. So, I ask everyone to continue to keep your distance, social distance where possible. Try and meet people outdoors. Think about who you're meeting. Are you meeting vulnerable people? And, if you can't do any of those things, if you can't maintain social distance, please do wear a face-covering. I strongly recommend you do wear a face-covering in crowded and enclosed settings, like the public transport, in buses and trains, so that you can protect yourself and provide the assurance to others these sectors are safe.
In addition to all this, I would also encourage you to come and get tested frequently. It is a good way of checking if you've got COVID-19. And if you do, you can self-isolate and break the chain of transmission to others, which will ultimately help to reduce COVID-19 in the community. There are many, many testing provisions available, from online to libraries, pharmacies and so on. So, come and get tested and it'll help to reduce the spread of the pandemic.
I know many of you have all been doing this for a long time, and I understand that. This is not about taking the fun away. This is not about stopping you from doing the things you want to do. This is about continuing things in a safe and pragmatic, sensible way. So, all of you have already been doing this, and I want to say a big thank you.
We need to continue with this a little longer so we can all return back to some sense of normality.
Thank you very much.
Your testing options
If you don’t have any coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, you have four lateral flow device testing options.
Option 1: Test kits delivered to your home
You can order tests kits online to be sent to your home.
All results need to be registered online or by calling 119.
Option 2: Collection of home test kits (community collect)
You do not need to make an appointment to collect home test kits but you can check online if the location is open or busy before you go.
- You can also collect test kits from most libraries in the county – excluding Woodstock, Old Marston, Littlemore, Barton, and Bampton.
To collect home test kits, you need to be aged 18 or over. You will need to register your results online or by calling 119.
Option 3: Secondary school and college testing
If you are at secondary school or college, you will have the option of taking part in testing at your school or college, or through LFD kits provided for you to test at home. The tests provided should only be used for testing the children they were supplied for.
Option 4: Workplace testing programmes
Some employers are also continuing to provide symptom free-testing within workplaces.
Option 5: Targeted community testing
The county council, working with community organisations, is delivering a targeted community testing programme on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care. The aim is to make home testing kits available to people disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and individuals who may be less likely to access regular testing.
The aims are to:
- identify symptom-free cases of COVID-19
- improve access to testing
- protect vulnerable individuals.
If your community organisation works with residents disproportionately impacted by the effects of COVID-19 or who may be less likely to access regular testing, consider joining the targeted community testing programme by emailing COVIDProgramme@oxfordshire.gov.uk.
Taking the test at home
- The lateral flow device test involves people taking a swab of the back of the throat and inside of the nose.
- The sample needs to be tested following the instructions provided.
- The result is confirmed in 30 minutes and needs to be reported to the NHS on GOV.UK.
- Once a home test is completed, the kit should be placed into the bag provided and disposed of with your general household waste.
Anyone who tests positive will need to take a second PCR test. A self-isolation information pack is available to provide advice and support.
If you test negative, it is recommended you continue to follow social distancing guidelines, wear a face covering in public, and regularly wash your hands.
Got any questions?
Our answers to a number of frequently asked questions may help.