An NHS Scotland health board has issued a plea to the public after the number of new coronavirus cases more than doubled in a week.
NHS Dumfries and Galloway recorded 452 new cases of Covid-19 in the week ending August 15, up from 274 the previous week.
The area has the highest rate of infection in Scotland with 275.1 per 100,000 people catching the virus.
The health board’s director of public health Valerie White said the sharp 65% jump was “highly concerning” and pleaded with people to do “everything you can to help suppress the spread”.
The announcement comes as children across the region prepare to head back to school on Thursday for the start of the new term.
Dr White said: “Schools reopen again tomorrow, and it’s vital that they are able to function as normally as possible. Education has already been so badly disrupted by the pandemic. To this end, controlling case numbers is really important.”
The public health boss said hospital admissions due to the virus were not as high as in previous waves despite case numbers climbing.
She warned that despite this the Covid-19 still poses a risk of significantly disrupting everyday lives and essential services like education.
She said: “So please, do everything you can to help suppress the spread.
“If you haven’t already been vaccinated, please consider it now – aware that the coronavirus is circulating right across our communities, and that a double vaccination provides your best defence against its worst effects.
“Also, very importantly, if you do experience any symptoms of Covid however mild, please don’t ignore them. Immediately self-isolate and book a test.”