Let’s all play a part in reducing the spread of coronavirus
As our children are returning to school and more people are venturing into towns and workplaces, the Coronavirus crisis is at a critical stage. We all find ourselves trying to achieve a balance between some form of normal everyday life and protecting ourselves, loved ones, and those in our communities.
It’s to be expected that as people start to step out more frequently and actively socialise, we might see increasing numbers of outbreak spikes across the country and in fact the world. In Shropshire too, we’ve seen a small number of cases recently, generally amongst the younger population who have displayed milder symptoms.
As an example, in the last few days Shropshire Council and Public Health England (PHE) Midlands have been working with key partners to respond to cases of Covid-19 at a residential care home in Dorrington.
The care home is run by Consensus Support Services Limited and offers residential care for adults with a learning disability and complex needs. Consensus Support Services Limited have followed government advice and guidelines and they have been quick to put all necessary health and safety measures in place to help prevent further transmission of the virus. As such risk to the public and to local businesses is low. Testing for staff and residents has identified 14 positive cases which represents a small number of both staff and residents at Consensus. Everyone who tested positive has been asked to self-isolate for 10 days in line with government guidance and those residents who have tested positive for coronavirus are being supported to self-isolate in their accommodation.
As always, the priority is to protect the health and wellbeing of all residents in our community and the risk to the wider community is very low at this stage. All local businesses are operating as normal and we’ll continue to work with everyone involved to provide health protection advice and guidance.
Local outbreaks such as this are not unexpected during a pandemic, and we have seen a number of cases across the county. As outbreaks arise it’s been important that everyone has pulled together and done their bit to help stop the further spread of the virus. This graph shows some of the small outbreaks that we’ve had recently in Shropshire.
The graph also shows what is called the 7-day rate of positive Covid cases. Simply put, this gives the total number of Covid positive cases in a 7-day period. As areas with larger populations may be expected to have higher numbers of positive cases, calculating the 7-day rate per 100,000 people, gives a level comparison of the infection rate between areas.
So, for example, if the total cases in Shropshire were 20, the rate per 100,000 of the population would be 6.15, whereas if Telford had 20 cases, their rate per 100,000 of the population would be 11.12 because they have a smaller population.
You can see that we are coping well in Shropshire, but the latest outbreak and the small trend of outbreak spikes come as an important reminder. They re-emphasise the fact that we need to stay vigilant. We need to repeat the messages about keeping safe and well to all ages of people in our communities.
It also reminds us that we all have a part to play in reducing the spread of the coronavirus. Keeping it simple, this means be vigilant, keep to small groups, socially distance, use hand sanitiser and don’t share the stuff that friends often share without thinking. We can all do our part, however small. I’ve attached a poster to emphasise the point. Please do share the poster with all those you know.
Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms
Do not leave your home if you have either:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or changed sense of smell or taste (anosmia)
Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.
- Stay at home (self-isolate) – do not leave your home or have visitors. Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must also self-isolate. Read the guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection here
- Get a test – get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible. Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, should also get a test if they have symptoms. Testing is offered at different locations around the county. To find out where your nearest test site is, and to book, either go online https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ or call 119 if no internet access.
An important new grant has been set up to help Shropshire residents affected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
Shropshire Council has been allocated a ‘Local Authority Emergency Assistance Grant for Food and Essential Supplies’ to support people who are struggling to afford food and other essentials due to COVID-19. It is really important that we get this money to those residents who have been financially impacted by Covid-19, especially if affected by job losses or financial insecurity.
If you know of someone who is finding it difficult to pay for some of their essential costs due to COVID-19, or if they have become homeless or are concerned about losing their home, please guide them to call 0345 678 9078. We’ll help with an application and put people in touch with a specialist adviser.
Please encourage people affected to apply now as the funding is limited and once spent assistance will no-longer be available from this particular grant. If you have any queries at all, please call 0345 678 9078. Further information is available on Gov.UK”
You can find the latest Coronavirus news, developments and guidelines by visiting: https://www.shropshire.gov.uk/
And finally, a quick reminder about the Healthwatch survey that we mentioned in our last update. ‘Help improve the experience of anyone leaving hospital’ – this is the aim of a new survey launched by Shropshire Healthwatch. Running from 1st September to 31st October 2020, the survey aims to gather the views and experiences of anyone who has been in hospital and then left in the last 6 months, so that services can be improved during what could be difficult winter months ahead. Your feedback and comments are invaluable, so help us to learn the important lessons from the pandemic and so improve services to people throughout Shropshire.
You can find the survey here …. https://www.healthwatch.co.uk/tell-us-about-your-experience-leaving-hospital-during-covid-19