SOLIHULL still has high levels of the Delta strain locally with just over 1,000 new cases a week.
That’s the message from the borough’s director of public health Ruth Tennant.
She said rates are particularly high in school-aged children but are also increasing in 25 to 69 year olds.
At the moment 33,351 people in the borough aged 12 or over have not had their first dose of vaccination and 85 per cent of eligible residents – that’s 161,194 – have been vaccinated.
The news comes as England moves into ‘Plan B’ namely from tomorrow, December 10, mandatory face covering rules are extended to most indoor settings (but will not include hospitality settings).
From Monday, December 13, guidance is for people to work from home if they can.
Anyone who cannot work from home should continue to travel to their workplace.
From Wednesday, December 15 the introduction of mandatory certification for certain settings.
This will mean a requirement to show vaccination status or a recent negative test to enter certain high risk settings.
The measures come in response to the growing threat of the Omicron variant of the virus.
“While there are no confirmed cases in Solihull as yet, now we are seeing community transmission in other parts of the country, so it is only a matter of time before Omicron finds its way to Solihull,” said Ms Tennant.
“That is why we are going to Plan B.
“It is also why we need to take the Omicron variant seriously.
“The science is still emerging but it points to this being easier to pass on and more infectious than other variants of Covid-19. “Vaccination, including boosters, remains an absolutely key defence.”
She added that vaccination take up in Solihull is lower in men than women and in 18-39 year olds.
“If this is you, please book in for your jab or find your nearest walk in session,” she said.
“This is especially important if you’re planning to meet up with older or vulnerable relatives at Christmas.”
She added that the booster jab was also very important with the NHS starting to contact everyone over the age of 18 for their booster jabs in turn.