On 7 March: Some think it’s all over; OH NO IT ISN’T! Essex remains in Lockdown3 for COVID-19. SWF Health & Social Care Group continues to work collaboratively with the Town’s GPs & Pharmacists. Since March 2020 we’ve delivered over 5850 tasks. The Downing Street Briefing on Friday 26 February was unequivocal. Don’t let our guard down. Maintain our discipline. We MUST stick to the rules. People not doing so are jeopardising the ‘Roadmap’ and risk delaying when restrictions can be eased.
The Office of National Statistics has now published the number of deaths due to Covid-19 between March 2020 & January 2021 (with new data for January). Shockingly and terribly sadly this reported 11 deaths from Covid of residents in SWF registered in January. We have been helping people in the surrounding areas and they have suffered awfully too: West Dengie had 6 deaths; Danbury & Bicknacre 11; Rettendon & Runwell 11; our most sincere condolences go to all the bereaved families, friends and colleagues. With the lag from infection to severe illness inevitably when the data for February is published there will be more.
The health system across Greater Essex is stable and back under control. However, it still faces “pressures that persist and the threat has not gone away yet. There is still much to be done.” Thanks to the “teams throughout health, care and beyond work[ing] tirelessly in extremely difficult circumstances to begin to turn the tide in our fight against Coronavirus. They need us all to continue to follow the rules so that partners across Essex can keep working together to support delivery of the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme.”
New SWF Covid cases fell to 5 in the week ended 15 February, down from the peak of 213 in the week ended 2 January. But they have doubled since then, reflecting the worrying turnaround across the country prompting the 26 February Briefing. We continue to publish daily and less frequent local data. The identification of a case of the South African variant in the Brentwood area meant that targeted testing was deployed in the CM13 postcode area to control and suppress its spread. It is good news that the 6th Brazilian strain patient has been found.
We must remember the time lag of around three weeks from initial infections to hospitalisations, and then sadly to patients going into Intensive Care and some deaths. We know some people we’ve been supporting are now in hospital and of a few recent deaths. Our sincere sympathy is with their families. It is good that new treatments have been found during the last year, improving recoveries.
The re-opening of schools tomorrow is most welcome. The testing regime is a key element and our secondary schools need family and voluntary support for this. We applaud the discipline and application of all school children and students whilst in Lockdown together with the patient home schooling provided by parents and guardians. We also recognise the enormous efforts made by teachers and staff to maintain schooling and studies.
The Roadmap predicts the cautious lifting of some other restrictions at the end of March if Covid trends go downwards, no mutant strains increase risks and the roll out of vaccinations continues. Our ongoing ‘good behaviour’ throughout March is essential to ensure the apparent new upward trajectory of infections and any further increase with the return of education are not so much as to delay the Roadmap’s relaxations.
Covid vaccinations continue to roll out in SWF, at the mass hub in Runwell, at Broomfield, Basildon and Southend Hospitals, and elsewhere. A magnificent 10,045+ vaccinations have now been delivered at Crouch Vale Medical Centre to SWF and Dengie patients, health and social care workers. The latest information about local vaccination supplies and clinics is at: https://greenwoodsurgery.com/covid-vaccine/ .
The supply of the vaccines is the limiting factor. The schedule is set by the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination & Immunisation. Written Invitations are being sent to patients in order of the published clinical priorities, with instructions about how to book appointments; PLEASE ONLY ring to ask for an appointment IF YOUR PRIORITY COHORT HAS BEEN TOLD TO DO SO.
Do ring 999 for life-threatening emergencies like a possible heart attack, stroke or a bad accident. Otherwise ring 111 if you need to book an A&E attendance slot at any time or for all other out of hours services. For a Covid test go online to https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test ; only if you can’t book online ring 119.
We provide health & social care support, information and signposting to patients & people in SWF and surrounds, especially those at risk, isolating, staying at home, and without local support. Information is on our website https://swfhealthsocial.co.uk/ . Do contact us with queries or comments on firstname.lastname@example.org ; if you don’t have internet access leave a voicemail on 01245 322079 which is monitored daily.
Please Remember; Hands-Face-Space; stay safe & at home, protect our NHS, save lives.