On Sunday 12 December: DANGER! SWF & DENGIE HAVE BEEN AMONGST WORST IN ESSEX FOR COVID INFECTIONS. Return of some restrictions announced. Adults double-vaccinated 14 days before a Covid contact & children in contact don’t have to isolate but are recommended to take a PCR test. Everyone PCR testing positive is legally required to self-isolate. Face Masks must be worn in all retail outlets, on all public transport and in communal areas of universities, colleges & schools by staff, visitors and students in year 7 and above. Anyone infected with the Omicron variant must isolate for 10 days; containment travel measures in place.
Latest data: In SWF we had 107 Covid cases in the week ended (w/e) 6 December, up from our lowest of 55w/e 5 November but down from highest of 155 w/e 25 November. We also have a lot of other bad colds, flu and respiratory illnesses.
In w/e 11 December there were 355,618 (p/w315,731) UK Covid positive tests, 836 (p/w827) deaths, and in w/e 6 December 5,556 (p/w5,388) patients admitted to hospitals. There’s a 3week lag between infections and subsequent hospitalisations and deaths; the UK has another steep increase in cases and inevitably that will be reflected in hospitalisations and deaths in a few weeks’ time. The Delta variant is 15% more infectious; the new Omicron variant is more transmissible; its other effects will be known shortly.
The new Omicron variant of concern is in Essex where guidance is: GET VACCINATED, ventilate indoor meetings; wear face masks in crowded & enclosed spaces; LTF test regularly. WHAT SORT OF CHRISTMAS & WINTER WE GET DEPENDS ON HOW WE BEHAVE NOW.
Vaccination is a big help. Why isn’t everyone having them? In SWF 87.3% of people 12+ years old have had 1st jab; 81.7% have had 2nd jab and 44.2% have had a booster. Most deaths are unvaccinated people. In our communities many people are ill and out of action, creating shortages and supply problems in many spheres, crippling activities.
We want relaxations to last as long as possible; and to safeguard our NHS, education and economy. It’s up to us. PLEASE REMAIN CAUTIOUS AND MAINTAIN OUR STANDARDS OF RESPECT FOR EACH OTHER. People are also ill with the super cold, flu, respiratory illnesses and conditions which have gone untreated during Covid. Our ambulance service and GPs are under severe pressure. Some hospitals have suspended visiting, are postponing surgery & appointments, and say don’t attend A&E unless life is threatened.
SWF Library distributes free LFT self-testing kits when open (Tuesdays 0845-1900, Wednesdays 0845-1300, Thursdays & Fridays 0845-1730 & Saturdays 0900-1700). You can also get them from pharmacies and they can be ordered online at https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests . Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs) are quick and easy to use. PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests are mainly for people with Covid symptoms. Covid Drive-through testing sites are at Sandon Park & Ride and Blackwater Leisure Centre (Maldon). PCR home tests and appointments can be booked online at https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test ; if you can’t order or book online, call 119.
Information about mass vaccination centres is at: https://eput.nhs.uk/news-events/coronavirus/coronavirus-vaccine/ . SWF’s mass vaccination hub at Tylers Ride is increasing its opening days and hours. Covid vaccinations can be booked online at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/ or on 119.
You can get Covid vaccine from a walk-in site without an appointment. Walk-in sites provide:
- a 1st dose if you or your child are aged 12 or over
- a 2nd dose if you’re eligible and it’s been 8 weeks since your 1st dose
- a booster dose if you’re eligible and it’s been 6 months (182 days) since your 2nd dose.
Full information, including the ability to find a walk-in vaccination site, is at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/find-a-walk-in-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-site/ .
Arrangements to deliver the latest decisions about Covid vaccinations are still being made. For now: Covid vaccinations for 12-15 year olds are also delivered by the school-based programme. Third Primary Doses for patients at very high risk from a low immune system are by NHS invitation only. NHS invitations for Boosters are also being sent by GPs & the NHS; see https://www.essexcovidvaccine.nhs.uk/news/nhs-begins-covid-19-booster-vaccination-campaign/ . Whilst you can book a booster vaccination 5 months after your 2nd jab the appointment for the booster must be at least 6 months after your 2nd jab. Over-40s can get boosters and 16-17 year olds can have 2nd jabs. When supplies and services are in place this guidance will be updated; stick to this unless you get a specific GP or NHS invitation stating otherwise. Flu vaccinations are by GP invitation and can also be booked with pharmacies offering this service.
Ring 999 for life-threatening emergencies. Ring 111 to book other A&E attendance slots at any time or for all other out of hours’ services.
If you need to contact GPs at CVMC for non-urgent or other routine matters please don’t ring but email your practice firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com ; please don’t contact them about hospital appointments for which you have been referred but ring the Central Referral Service on 0300 123 0771 or Broomfield Hospital Appointment Line on 01245 123 0771 as the Practices can’t provide hospital appointment details. Because of the postal problems Broomfield Hospital is telephoning patients about appointments for the next few weeks.
SWF Health & Social Care Group is working with the Town’s GPs & Pharmacists. Since March 2020 we’ve delivered over 9450 tasks.
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/ . Contact us with queries on firstname.lastname@example.org ; if you don’t have internet access leave a voicemail on 01245 322079 which is monitored daily.
Hands-Face-Space; stay safe, protect our NHS, save lives.