Covid-19 cases are rising across all unvaccinated groups in Stockport, with the Delta Variant accounting for up to 95% of cases, warns Stockport’s Director of Public Health.
In her weekly statement on the pandemic, Jennifer Connolly has warned that the highly transmissible Delta Variant has become the dominant virus strain across Greater Manchester with cases having begun to rise again since restrictions were eased on 17th May.
The Director of Public Health for the borough has praised the area’s vaccination programme and urge the public to continue doing their part to curb the virus’ spread, through vaccination, social distancing and ventilating indoor spaces. She said:
As with many places across the rest of Greater Manchester, the North West and nationally, the Delta variant is increasingly of concern having become the dominant Covid strain. It is now estimated to account for around 90-95 per cent of all Covid cases in Stockport and can be found across all areas of the borough.
Cases have been rising in all unvaccinated age groups in Stockport. Coronavirus rates are currently at 141.4 cases per 100,000*, an increase of more than five times that of 24.9 cases per 100,000 last week. There are around 59 new cases each day*, up from 14 last week. The latest published data can be found here.
While this rise had been anticipated, the steep pace of the rise is due in part to the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant, which could be around 50% more contagious, as well as the increase in mixing since we took another step out of lockdown on 17 May. Since the start of the pandemic Stockport residents have demonstrated huge care for each other throughout, by respecting the advice and guidance and so, I would please encourage everyone to keep their behaviour changes going – such as social distancing where able (two metres, wearing a face covering (unless exempt), washing or sanitising hands regularly, meeting outdoors where possible and when indoors keeping enclosed spaces well ventilated by having windows open (15 minutes each hour).
We also need people to be tested regularly and if found to have a positive test, or been a contact of someone who has, to self-isolate for 10 days, as this is now the law and will help break the chain of transmission. Information on support available during self-isolation can be found here. Home lateral flow testing kits can be picked up from pharmacies, libraries, Fred Perry House Test Centre, and the car park on Chadwick Street in Marple. Find your nearest test centre or collection point here.
We also know that huge proportions of our residents have also taken up the vaccination offer already. The vaccination programme continues at pace, with 73.6% of the adult population in Stockport having received their first dose and we have reached the milestone of more than half or 52.2% of the adult population having already received both doses, as of 3 June.
We want to continue these fantastic efforts and I ask residents to encourage their friends and family in coming forward for vaccination, as well as testing regularly and following the guidance. If you need any help with answering vaccination questions, we’ve prepared an FAQ with colleagues from NHS Stockport Clinical Commissioning Group, which should be useful and will give you the information you need here.
We know we’ve had good uptake of the vaccine in our most vulnerable groups, which will help reduce the link between cases rising and increased hospitalisation. While rates are still lowest in those cohorts that have been vaccinated, Covid can lead to hospitalisation in all age groups, so it is vital that if eligible for a vaccination people should please get one as soon as possible by attending one of our regular pop-up clinics taking place throughout June or book through the national booking system by calling 119 or online here. Also, people should attend their appointment for a second vaccination as this will ensure maximum protection.
Please take up the advice, especially around keeping going with the risk reduction measures (regular testing and hands/face/space/fresh air). With the glorious weather we have been having, we have glimpsed a little bit of ‘normality’ return, so we don’t want to see any additional restrictions in place and want everyone to get the vaccine as soon as possible to help us through this situation and for the longer term. Full information on what to expect from the government’s roadmap out of lockdown can be found on the government website.
Finally, take care of your mental health and wellbeing and remember, if you’re finding things difficult, we have lots of offers of help and support, so do reach out. We’ve listed them all here. For further information on how you might look after yourself, please visit our Health and Wellbeing page or Healthy Stockport.
*This is the latest figure for Stockport validated on 2.6.21.