As habits change fast, Devon’s health director warns Covid ‘is still with us’

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But Devon’s director of Public Health has warned Covid ‘is still with us’.

Retail and recreation locations have seen visits increase by eight per cent in the week to April 15, which is now 91 per cent of pre-coronavirus levels.

Parks and public spaces have seen a 30 per cent rise in visits from the previous week.

Seated dining was up 138 per cent of the equivalent week in 2019, the highest level since September 2021.

But approximately one in every 12 residents in Devon currently has coronavirus, and the number of deaths of people with the virus is increasing.

He’s listed five simple things that we can, and should be doing to protect ourselves, friends and families, including staying at home if possible and avoiding seeing others if you have symptoms of coronavirus or any infectious illness.

‘If you have symptoms of coronavirus or any infectious illness, eg a cough or high temperature, vomiting or diarrhoea, or if you have tested positive for coronavirus, please stay at home if you can and avoid seeing others until you are feeling better.

‘Face coverings are still required in health settings, such as GP surgeries and in hospitals.  Unless you are exempt, please continue to wear face coverings when in indoor public spaces with people you don’t live with.  That includes public transport, hospitality and retail settings.

‘On testing, I would encourage people to use their current stock of lateral flow tests to greatest effect, such as testing before visiting older or vulnerable friend and relatives, or before going to your GP practice or to visit someone in hospital. And if you test positive, please stay at home for five days or until your symptoms have gone.

‘Keep up with your vaccinations. They’re proven to help protect you and others from becoming ill.

‘And simple hand hygiene is also still important, not just to protect from coronavirus, but also for fighting other infectious illnesses.  It’s a simple precaution, but still effective.’

Steve Brown said: ‘It’s a stark reminder that coronavirus is still with us. ‘While living with covid presents opportunities to return to a normality, it’s important that we remain cautious doing so.’

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