An Update from Us 20.12.2021

On Sunday 19 December: DANGER! SWF & DENGIE HAVE BEEN AMONGST WORST IN ESSEX FOR COVID INFECTIONS. 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; further measures may be announced before the next Issue of Focus and will be reported on our website and the Town’s social media.

Latest data: In SWF we had 107 Covid cases in the week ended (w/e) 13 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 18 December there were 513,574 (p/w355,618) UK Covid positive tests, 787 (p/w836) deaths, and in w/e 13 December 6,056 (p/w5,556) 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 the coming weeks. The Omicron variant is more transmissible; its other effects will be known shortly.  

Omicron is in Essex where guidance is: GET VACCINATED, ventilate indoor meetings; wear face masks in crowded & enclosed spaces; LTF test regularly.  

Vaccination is a big help. Why isn’t everyone having them? In SWF 87.7% of people 12+ years old have had 1st jab; 82.2% have had 2nd jab and 53.1% have had a 3rd dose or 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 to safeguard our NHS, social care, education and economy. We’re now where we are. People are ill with Covid, the super cold, flu, respiratory illnesses and conditions which have gone untreated during Covid. London is on an emergency footing. 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.  

This weekend: SWF’s Pharmacies and Library didn’t have supplies of Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs). This is a distribution problem. LFT kits are only available from Pharmacies if you have an online code. SWF Leisure Centre does have some and they don’t require a code; however, their stock is limited. The online request service is operating and delivery is promised in three days; if you’re able please go online at https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests and leave those in the Town for people who don’t have internet access. LFTs are quick and easy to use.

SWF Library distributes free LFT self-testing kits when it has supplies and is open (Tuesdays 0845-1900, Wednesdays 0845-1300, Thursdays & Fridays 0845-1730 & Saturdays 0900-1700).  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.

Covid Vaccination sessions at Tylers Ride Vaccination Hub are daily from 0800-2000; it’s best to make pre-arranged online appointments; walk-ins are accommodated every day from time to time subject to available supplies after allowing for all booked appointments increased by any DNAs; if you arrive unbooked you will be told whether or not you can be jabbed.There are no walk-ins at Crouch Vale Medical Centre where vaccinations are only by prior booked appointments and at present there are no more vaccination sessions there.

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/ .

Full Essex vaccination information is at: https://www.essexcovidvaccine.nhs.uk/ . 18-year-olds & older can have boosters 3 months after a 2nd dose; they should also wait at least 28 days after any Covid infection. Under 18s must wait 3 months after any Covid infection before a booster. 12-15 year olds are only being offered a 1st jab at present.

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 9550 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 this website. 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.