Stockport Council’s Director of Public Health, Jennifer Connolly has warned of the new coronavirus variant’s increased transmissibility in her latest statement, following the news that Covid-19 infection rates have more than doubled in the past week.
To combat the increased potency of the virus in spreading, a new national lockdown is now once again in place. Under this guidance you should only leave your house for food, exercise, medical reasons or work if unable to do this from home.
However, vaccination programmes are now under way in Stockport distributing jabs developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca. The immunisations are being given to both frontline healthcare staff and the most vulnerable elderly people and care home residents.
Director of Public Heath, Jennifer Connolly, said in her latest statement:
The news we have been placed under new national restrictions was not the start to 2021 that we all hoped for.
The news we have been placed under new national restrictions was not the start to 2021 that we all hoped for. Under this guidance you should only leave your house for food, exercise, medical reasons or work if unable to do this from home. For information about what you can and cannot do visit GOV.UK
However, the new guidance is necessary as the new strain of coronavirus is 50-70% more infectious than previously and has led to a sharp rise in cases and hospital admissions across England, with concerns the NHS could become overwhelmed in the next 21 days. We expect this to become the most dominant strain.
Here in Stockport case rates have more than doubled in just a week and are now at *419.5 per 100,000, compared to 155.1 last week. This is now above the Greater Manchester average. We are also seeing around *176 new cases each day, compared to 65 last week. Rates are rising across all age groups, especially among 18-29-year olds and 30-50 year olds, and in all wards. The latest published data can be found here.
We know that you have already done so much in the response to the pandemic and to keep our communities safe but now is not the time for complacency. The virus is as rife as ever, so please continue to be vigilant, do everything you can and be even more cautious.
It’s estimated that one in three people who have coronavirus don’t show any symptoms so the best way to prevent the transmission is to act like you have the virus and limit direct contact with other people. Stay at home, if able to work from home do so, limit the number of trips out for essential shopping and now more than ever it’s important to heed advice around infection control.
The virus will spread wherever it can so take extreme care to minimise your chances of catching Covid by scrupulously sticking to the guidance around avoiding the 3 C’s – close contact such as hugs, closed spaces and crowds. If you must go out please maintain social distancing (two metres), wear a face covering (unless exempt), wash your hands frequently and stay in well ventilated places: if you’re inside this means having the windows open for at least 15/20 minute every hour. This will help to keep you and others safe. For information about what you can and cannot do visit GOV.UK.
Thankfully, due to the work of scientists we have two approved vaccines, and our vaccination programme in Stockport continues at pace. Last week saw Margaret, 78, become the first care home resident in the borough to be vaccinated. Vaccinations also continue in the community and at the Stepping Hill Hospital hub thanks to the hard work, determination and effort of many healthcare and public health professionals. As the vaccination programme is expanded to include more people, please take up the offer. You will receive an invite from the NHS so please do not call in the meantime. Further information about the priority groups can be found here.
You may still exercise or meet in a public, outdoor space with people you live with, your support bubble (or as part of a childcare bubble), or with one other person (keeping 2 metres apart), as this is vital for overall health and wellbeing. For information on how you might look after your health and wellbeing, please visit our Health and Wellbeing pages or for ways to remain healthy, please visit Healthy Stockport.
If you have a new continuous cough, high temperature, or a change or loss of smell/taste – however mild, stay at home and book a test via GOV.UK or by phoning 119. You and your household members must self-isolate while you await your results. If found positive, stay home for 10 days. Household members must stay at home for 10 days. Minimise transmission within your home by staggering use of the bathroom, giving each person their own towel, and keeping kitchens and bathrooms clean.
If told to self-isolate through the NHS Covid 19 app you must follow the instruction.
The council’s Coronavirus helpline and website can be accessed on 0161 217 6046 from Monday – Thursday from 9.00am – 5pm and Friday from 9.00am – 4:30pm. If you’re deaf or have difficulty hearing, you can use our textphone on 07860 022 876. Find out more by visiting our helpline page.
*This is the latest figure for Stockport validated on 8.1.21.