On Sunday 6 March: REGULATIONS ALL LIFTED. BUT IT ISN’T OVER YET. Please get Vaccinated; appointments and walk-ins aren’t busy. According to the Gov.UK UKHSA Coronavirus Dashboard SWF had 52 Covid cases in the week ended (w/e) 27 February, down from 164 w/e 29 January. But Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests that should be 533?
That Dashboard says in w/e 4 March there were 255,864 [previous week (p/w) 260,924] UK Covid positive tests, 710 (p/w 845) deaths, and in w/e 28 February 7,961 (p/w 8,053) patients admitted to hospitals. There’s a 3-week lag between infections and subsequent hospitalisations and deaths; the present figures will be reflected in hospitalisations and deaths in the coming weeks. The number of tests is down over 4.4m in the w/e 3 March. The latest, said to be more accurate, ONS data estimates 1,933,500 (1 in 30) people in England had Covid in w/e 26 February (p/w 1 in 25). Taking the ONS estimate and SWF’s population as 16,000 that means there were actually 533 (p/w 640) SWF residents with Covid in w/e 26 February.
Now no one is legally required to self-isolate if testing positive for COVID-19. The Government says: there are still steps you can take to reduce the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19: GET VACCINATED; ventilate indoor meetings; meet outdoors; consider wearing face coverings in crowded enclosed spaces. Stay at home if you can and avoid contact with other people. The testing regime and arrangements are being reviewed but LFD free tests remain available and people with Covid symptoms are asked to take a PCR test. Yes, we must move to the ‘new normal’ as soon as possible; but we must understand that will include caring for our loved ones who remain extremely vulnerable.
Guidance In Essex is: GET VACCINATED, ventilate indoor meetings; wear face masks in crowded & enclosed spaces; LFD test regularly. Vaccinations are crucial. Why isn’t everyone having them? On 3 March, in SWF 89.3% of people 12+ years old have had 1st jab (p/w89.3%); 85.2% have had 2nd jab (p/w 85.1%) and 70.0% have had a 3rd dose or booster (69.7% p/w). SWF is below the national averages of 91.6% for 1st doses and 85.3% for 2nd doses and above the national average of 66.6% for 3rd & booster doses. Most deaths and people in intensive care are unvaccinated.
We want to safeguard our NHS, social care, education and economy. People are very 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/restricted visiting, are postponing surgery & appointments, and say don’t attend A&E unless life is threatened, or you’re seriously injured. Staff absences are affecting all supply chains.
SWF’s Pharmacies have limited supplies of Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test 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 Library, subject to supplies and deliveries. SWF Library is open: Tuesdays 0845-1900, Wednesdays 0845-1300, Thursdays & Fridays 0845-1730 & Saturdays 0900-1700. 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; take up is low. It is best to make pre-arranged online appointments; walk-ins are accommodated subject to available supplies after allowing for 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 open walk-ins or vaccination sessions at Crouch Vale Medical Centre.
Information about mass vaccination centres at Tylers Ride and throughout 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 anywhere, is at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/find-a-walk-in-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-site/ .
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. 16 & 17-year-olds can get 1st & 2nd jabs and at least 3 months after their 2nd jab can book boosters or attend walk-in centres. 12-15-year-olds are now being offered two doses. Most younger children will be vaccinated at school during school hours. Parents/Guardians of Children aged 5-11, who are in a clinical risk group or live with someone who is immunosuppressed, will be invited to get the children a 1st dose and must wait for the NHS to contact them about this. People aged 12+ with severely weakened immune systems will be invited for 3rd and 4th Booster vaccinations by their consultant or GP when due. The Health & Social Care Secretary has accepted the JCVI advice that all UK adults over 75 will get a 4th booster jab and arrangements for this will be made in the Spring.
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 Kingsway Surgery for non-urgent or other routine matters please don’t ring but email firstname.lastname@example.org . For Greenwood Surgery phone for all clinical matters; for prescription and administration queries email 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.
SWF Health & Social Care Group is working with the Town’s GPs & Pharmacists. Since March 2020 we’ve delivered over 10,350 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.