CORONAVIRUS cases are on the rise in Brighton and Hove.

The city’s director of public health has warned the small rise of five per cent should be taken as a “wake-up call”.

In the seven days up to May 7, 43 new Covid-19 cases were confirmed in the city, which is equivalent to a weekly rate of 15 per 100,000 residents.

That’s roughly the same as for the South East and lower than England, which was 22 per 100,000.
Health chief Alistair Hill said: “Even a small increase, especially when people are starting to mix again and relax their guard, is a wake-up call.

“The Covid-19 virus is still circulating in our community and the risk that infections might get out of control is an ever-present concern for us all.

“To contain the virus, it’s vital that people routinely get tested so those with Covid and their contacts can self-isolate to break the chains of transmission.”

The overall rate has remained below 20 per 100,000 throughout April and early May.

This is similar to levels seen at the beginning of September last year, and new cases now average around five per week.

This applies to all age groups, with the lowest rates of infection among children and the over 60s.

Mr Hill said: “Everyone with symptoms must get a PCR test and immediately self-isolate. However, a third of all people who get Covid show no symptoms, which is why regular symptom-free (lateral flow) testing is so important.

“It is easy to get free symptom-free Covid tests or have them delivered to your home and I encourage you to make them part of your weekly routine.

“When a symptom-free lateral flow test shows positive, the result needs to be confirmed with the more accurate PCR test while you self-isolate.

“These can be arranged online or by calling 119 to book an appointment at a testing centre or to get a kit delivered to your home.

Health chief Alistair Hill has issued a warning after a rise in coronavirus cases in Brighton and Hove

Health chief Alistair Hill has issued a warning after a rise in coronavirus cases in Brighton and Hove

“After a positive Covid test of any kind, or first sign of any Covid symptoms, the safe and responsible thing to do is to self-isolate immediately to protect everyone else.

“We know having to self-isolate can cause anxiety, inconvenience and financial worries.

“The council may be able to offer financial help if you cannot work because you need to self-isolate.

“Extra support, including emergency help with food and essentials, is available from our Community Hub.

“We can contain the virus and keep Brighton and Hove open for business if we’re careful, keep-up the hygiene and social distancing habits we developed during lockdown, get vaccinated as soon as we can, and make regular testing part of our routine.”