An Update from Us 02.01.2022

On Sunday 2 January: INCREASING DANGER! Latest data: In SWF we had 288 Covid cases in the week ended (w/e) 28 December, WHICH IS THE HIGHEST EVER FIGURE WE HAVE REPORTED up from 103 w/e 10 December. Our previous highest was 213 w/e 2 January 2021. We also have a lot of other bad colds, flu and respiratory illnesses.

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.

In w/e 2 January there were 1,110,159 [previous week (p/w) 763,295] UK Covid positive tests, 981 (p/w782) deaths, and in w/e 27 December 9,937 (p/w6,581) patients admitted to hospitals. These figures may be incomplete due to holidays. There’s a 3-week lag between infections and subsequent hospitalisations and deaths; the UK has its biggest ever 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; LFD test regularly. Further measures may be announced in the coming days.

Vaccinations are a big help. Why isn’t everyone having them? In SWF 88.2% of people 12+ years old have had 1st jab (p/w88.0%); 82.70% have had 2nd jab (p/w 82.45%) and 64.0% have had a 3rd dose or booster (62.2% p/w). Most deaths are unvaccinated people. In our communities many people are out of action, creating shortages and supply problems in many spheres, crippling activities.

We want to safeguard our NHS, social care, education and economy. People are ill with Covid, the super cold, flu, respiratory illnesses and conditions which have gone untreated during Covid. Our ambulance service and GPs are under severe pressure. Local hospitals have suspended visiting, are postponing surgery & appointments, and say don’t attend A&E unless life is threatened, or you’re seriously injured.  

SWF’s Pharmacies continue to have limited supplies of Lateral Flow Device (LFD) kits for which a collect code is required, obtainable at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing/regular-rapid-coronavirus-tests-if-you-do-not-have-symptoms/ . LFD kits are available at SWF Leisure Centre and Library, subject to supplies and deliveries. SWF Leisure Centre is open: Monday to Friday 0615-2200; Saturday & Sunday 0700-2000. SWF Library is open: Tuesdays 0845-1900, Wednesdays 0845-1300, Thursdays & Fridays 0845-1730 & Saturdays 0900-1700. 

Distribution problems continue for LFD kits. 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 . LFDs are quick and easy to use. PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests are mainly for people with Covid symptoms. Free ones can be ordered/booked at https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or ringing 119 if you can’t use the online service.

Covid Vaccination sessions are at Tylers Ride Vaccination Hub and elsewhere. It is best to make pre-arranged online appointments; walk-ins are accommodated from time to time subject to available supplies after allowing for all booked appointments increased by any DNAs; if you arrive unbooked when the Hub is open 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 at Tylers Ride and all in Essex, including opening times, 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 now being offered two doses.

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 9600 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.