The first case of Omicron on the Island has been confirmed by the UK Health Security Agency.
The COVID-19 variant is sweeping the country with some element of panic caused by the national media’s coverage of the situation.
Latest data shows that hospitalisations have increased by 10.4% over the past 7 days, at a time when hospitals are traditionally busy. Deaths within 28 days of a positive test have actually fallen by 5% over the past 7 days.
There is talk of further restrictions coming into force, but Government officials have said that there will be no new restrictions this side of Christmas. No reassurances have been given about January though.
The news comes in the same week that Bob Seely MP asked ‘what went wrong?’, referring to the point that vaccines were billed as being the way out of the pandemic.
Simon Bryant, director of Public Health for the Isle of Wight, said:
“Over the coming weeks it is likely that Omicron will become the dominant variant.
“During this time it is important that everyone takes sensible precautions — take regular lateral flow tests, get a PCR test if you have symptoms, isolate when asked, wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces, ventilate rooms, use the NHS COVID-19 app, get your vaccine and boosters as soon as you can.
“It is important to break the chain of transmission as quickly as possible. The quickest way of doing this is for individuals who test positive to self-isolate immediately.
“Even if you are feeling well, I would urge everyone to play their part to keep their community safe. If you are contacted, please follow the instructions on testing you are given as soon as possible.”
Councillor Karl Love, Cabinet member for Public Health, added:
“If you or your family are travelling on or off the Island, please take a rapid response LFT before you travel to check your COVID status. If the result is positive, stay home and book a PCR test.
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“It was inevitable this variant would migrate to our Island. While there is currently only one confirmed case, there will be others in the coming weeks. Get your vaccination and remember the basics — hands, face, space and fresh air. Everything we do helps to keep ourselves and our community safe.”
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