Further Update from Us 13.12.21

On MONDAY 13 December: Our article of 12 December was written before the Prime Minister’s Statement last night. It will take a little while for local operations to deliver the new booster and other Covid vaccinations regime. We will publish information about how this will be done locally as soon as we have it. In the meantime, this article has been stripped of detailed information about accessing vaccinations and everyone is asked to be patient. If you have a booked appointment please keep it. If you’ve already had a letter, text or call from your GP or the NHS continue as they have directed. The rest of this article is as written yesterday.

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/ . Covid vaccinations can be booked online at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/ or on 119. 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. See https://www.essexcovidvaccine.nhs.uk/news/nhs-begins-covid-19-booster-vaccination-campaign/ . 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 greenwood.meds@nhs.net or kingsway.receptionist@nhs.net ; 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 swfhealthsocial@outlook.com ; 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.