While it is heartening to have some semblance of normality return to society, daily case numbers are still in the high hundreds/low thousands which is not what we want to see heading into winter.
As society opens up, we must not become complacent as the virus is still very much with us.
It is vital to maintain good hand hygiene practices, wear face masks and social distance, where we can, indoors, and limit contacts, as this will ensure you do not pass Covid on to family or friends who might be more vulnerable.
Local primary care teams and frontline health care workers in our hospitals continue to be grateful for the patience shown to us by the vast majority of the population as we continue to deliver patient care in highly pressurised circumstances.
Alongside our hospital colleagues, we continue to be highly concerned about the coming winter months as traditionally winter levels of workload pressures have already appeared in the summer. We would urge the public to continue to use healthcare services wisely as we approach winter.
The majority of Covid patients requiring hospital treatment continue to be those who are unvaccinated, so it is important to come forward and get the vaccine if you have not already done so to help reduce the ever-growing pressure on our hospitals.
Remember: it is still possible to get Covid when fully vaccinated, but you are less likely to need hospital treatment or, if you do need hospital admission, your stay will be much shorter.
Your GP has started to deliver the flu vaccination programme. Practices will contact you about receiving the flu jab if you have not received yours already, so you do not need to contact them. When you are called for your flu jab, please come forward for it.
Dr Tom Black is a GP working in Derry. He is also chairperson of the British Medical Association (NI).