Yesterday, 17 November, the Western Cape Government issued an urgent hotspot alert for the Garden Route, due to the rapidly increasing number of Covid-19 cases in the area. This spike is mainly contributing to the notable growth of active cases in the Western Cape.
“Despite our wanting to return to normal, and despite the relative success of our COVID-19 response, it is important to keep up our prevention behaviour. COVID-19 is not gone; we need to work together to avoid a second wave. As more people are moving around and economic activity is allowed under level 1 restrictions, we are seeing smaller clusters of infections flare up. Many of these flare-ups originate at social gatherings which can be anything from a party, religious gathering or even in a workplace – any place where large numbers of people congregate that is crowded, has poor ventilation and social distancing cannot be maintained. When going out, always wear your mask and avoid crowded places, close-contact settings, and confined enclosed spaces with poor ventilation. Do not become complacent. Even when you feel safe between friends and family, you should continue to wear your mask and maintain a distance of at least 1,5 m from other people”, said District Health Director, Mr Zee Brickles.
“Specifically, we are concerned about the increasing number of cases in George, Knysna and Bitou. George, which currently has 628 active cases, has the highest number of active cases in the province.
“Along with the increasing number of cases in the region, we are also seeing the number of hospitalisations increase. Our hospitals still have sufficient capacity to cope with the surge in cases, however, we must all take responsibility to ensure that we are able to contain the further spread of the virus.
“The hotspot team for the Garden Route has increased surveillance, through screening and testing. We are also working closely with municipalities, environmental health teams, and stakeholders in the region to manage and contain the spread. This includes a concerted communications campaign in the area. We are also paying special attention to vulnerable groups, including old age homes.
“We need every single resident of the Garden Route and visitors to the region to help us stop this surge by:
1) Wearing your mask at all times when out in public places
2) Avoiding gatherings
3)Avoiding crowded places, especially where there is poor ventilation
4) Staying at least 1.5 metres apart
5) Washing your hands with soap and water regularly
If you feel sick, STAY AT HOME and if you are experiencing symptoms, call the hotline on 080 928 4102 for directions and next steps.
We will only be able to bring this situation under control if everyone takes responsibility now.