Coronavirus infection rates are high and rising in Portsmouth.

This week the infection rate is the highest it’s been at any point during the pandemic, and we’ve seen cases of the Omicron variant confirmed too.

Remember that as England moves to Plan B, new rules are in place now with more due from Monday 13 December. Take some time to think about what impact this might have on your plans in the run up to Christmas and the new year.

There are things we can all do to keep looking out for each other and to slow the spread:

✳️ You must wear a face covering in most indoor venues, including shops, cinemas, personal care settings and on public transport too.

✳️ Meet friends outside if you can – if you meet indoors, open your windows often to let fresh air in and the virus out.

✳️ Wash your hands regularly, and if you’re out and about, take hand sanitiser with you.

✳️ If you develop symptoms – such as a high temperature, new continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – isolate straight away and book a PCR test.

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Keep your child and the school community safe

One of the confirmed cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Portsmouth was at a local school.

We are working closely with partners to monitor the situation and help reduce the spread in the school and wider community. Close contacts are identified by NHS Test and Trace and advised of next steps.

Given the sharp rise in infections in Portsmouth in the last seven days, for any in-person events with parents next week, schools have been advised to either cancel the event or hold it virtually.

All the current prevention measures we are asked to follow for COVID-19 remain the best protection to take, so we encourage you to continue following the school and national guidance.

Schools are working hard make sure they can continue to support children and young people – please be sure to show a little understanding and kindness, as it goes a long way.

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Know which NHS service to use

The NHS is working extra hard to deliver the COVID-19 vaccination programme as well as care for people at home, in the community and in hospital, too.

To get the best care from the NHS and enable them to help the greatest number of people, it’s important to know which NHS services are available locally and to choose the right service at the right time – especially as we’re into the colder, winter months.

Portsmouth CCG has a handy guide on their website to help you decide when to self-care at home, when to see a pharmacist or GP, when to contact 111, attend a minor injuries unit or urgent treatment centre, or when to go the emergency department. If you’re not sure where to go, you should contact 111 for advice.

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