Calderdale Council’s Latest Covid-19 Update

20/12/2020 – an update distributed to local councillors by Calderdale Council

This has been another significant week in our response to the pandemic. It began with the wonderful moment that Resham Bi from Halifax became the first person in Calderdale to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Halifax Central PCN, the CCG and the Council worked together to ensure that over 300 vaccines a day were given, booked every 3 minutes with staff working many hours. There were very few DNA and we reached a good percentage from across the PCN area including those from our ethnic minority communities. There is more information below. We anticipate three other PCN sites going live next week, with an escalation of vaccine deployment dependent upon supply being received. We are also working to begin our programme of vaccine deployment to care homes.

Government plans are to delay the return to secondary schools to Monday 11 January for most children, with a plan to commence lateral flow testing to schools from 4 January. There are a range of concerns about this from school leaders, and we will be working with schools to assess and assist on what can be achieved and when. Those with exams, children of keyworkers and children with special needs will return on the 4th January.

Public Health Update

The 7-day rolling rate per 100,000 in Calderdale for tests carried out in the 7 days prior to 12th December was 159 per 100,000. This is a reduction from 192 per

100,000 the previous week. This means 336 Calderdale residents tested positive in this time period. This rate places Calderdale 161st highest of the English Local Authorities compared to a ranking of 55th the previous week. The rate in Calderdale is higher than the regional average (150) and lower than the national average (196).

It appears that the Calderdale case rate peaked at just under 500 for tests carried out on the 7 days prior to 14th November. The rate is still high and is 8 times higher than it was at the end of August. The reduction in the rate slowed last week and test and trace referral data indicate that it will stabilise in the coming days, possibly reflecting he impact of the end of the national lockdown. Nationally, the rate is increasing.

The rate of Calderdale residents being tested remains high and between 5th and 11th December on average just under 850 people were tested each day. The proportion of Calderdale residents who had a test that tested positive in this time period was 6.5% compared to 6.7% nationally. This is a reduction from 7.7% the previous week.

Case rates across the borough

There is 1 Middle Layer Super Output (MSOA) area in Calderdale in the top 5% of areas in Yorkshire and Humber for their rate per 100,000. This is Skircoat Green (311, a reduction from 494 the previous week). An outbreak in a care home is contributing to this high rate. Rates of Covid-19 are falling or stable in all but 4 wards (Calder, Hipperholme and Lightcliffe, Ovenden and Brighouse). The 5 wards with the highest rates per 100,000 in the 7 days prior to 11th December were Skircoat (338), Park (219), Calder (216), Hipperholme and Lightcliffe (206) and Northowram and Shelf (171). The largest reductions between the most recent 2 weeks were seen in Park, Warley and Ryburn.

The data shows the following number of cases in MSOAs / Wards for week 50 (between 7 and 13 December 2020). As shown, all MSOAs / Wards have cases, we have a total of 336 cases, compared to 2 weeks ago total 503, a 28% decrease.

Brighouse 13 Brighouse 13 Hebden Bridge 20 Calder 24 Todmorden East & Walsden 4 Elland 14 Elland 14 Greetland & Stainland 8 Greetland & Stainland 8 Clifton & Bailiff Bridge 17 Hipperholme and Lightcliffe 26 Hipperholme 9 Illingworth & Ogden 6 Illingworth and Mixenden 21 Mixenden 15 Mytholmroyd & Cragg Vale 13 Luddendenfoot 13 Northowram & Shelf 18 Northowram and Shelf 18 Ovenden East 5 Ovenden 16 Wheatley & Ovenden West 11 King Cross 22 Park 39 Pellon East 17 Rastrick East Supressed Rastrick 20 Rastrick West 20 Ripponden, Rishworth & Barkisland 10 Ryburn 14 Sowerby, Beechfoot & Luddendenfoot 4 Savile Park 9 Skircoat 33 Skircoat Green 24 Sowerby Bridge 12 Sowerby Bridge 12 Todmorden West & Cornholme 6 Todmorden 6 Central Halifax & Boothtown 20 Town 33 Southowram & Siddal 13 Norton Tower & Mount Tabor 6 Warley 26 Pellon West & Highroad Well 20

Supressed for cases of 0-2

We know that engagement with the community was successful in reducing infection rates in the summer, so we have mobilising engagement with communities and businesses in high incidence areas now that the national lockdown period has finished. This started this week and involves local voluntary and community organisations, the Council’s neighbourhoods team, community wardens and the Community Covid-19 Champions. If you or any one you know is interested in being a Community Covid-19 Champion, information about how to get involved is here:

Case rates by age groups

In the 7 days prior to 11th December the case rate per 100,000 has reduced in every age group but remained stable in those aged 16-29 over the most recent days that we have date for, possibly reflecting the end of the national lockdown.

• The highest Covid-19 rates are in people aged 16-29 at 207 per 100,000 (compared to 252 the previous week).

• The rate in people aged 45-64 has steadily reduced since the peak on 14th November and is now 186 per 100,000, compared to 217 the previous week

• The rate in people aged 30-44 has seen a steady reduction since the peak to 180 per 100,000 compared to 213 the previous week

• The rate in children and young people aged 0-15 continues to reduce and is 109 per 100,000 (compared to 198 the previous week).

• The rate in people aged 65 continues to reduce and is now 106 per 100,000, a reduction from 128 the previous week.

Where ethnicity is known, 77% of cases are of white ethnicity compared to 82% the previous week.

Hospital admissions in people who have tested positive for Covid-19 in Calderdale Royal Hospital remain high. There were 31 Covid-19 patients in the hospital on 15th December and 5 of these were in intensive care. The trends are shown in the chart below. Across CHFT trust there were 92 Covid-19 patients in hospital on 16th December and 9 in intensive care. Across the whole pandemic 352 Covid-19 patients have died in CHFT hospitals.

Sadly, we have seen an increase in the number of Calderdale residents that have died from Covid-19.

There have been 201 deaths in Calderdale residents where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate since the beginning of the pandemic and 8 of these people died in the week ending 4th December.

In Calderdale there have been 197 excess deaths compared to the 5-year average since 20th March and 165 (82%) of these were caused by Covid-19. In the week ending 4th December there were two fewer deaths than the 5-year average.

Covid-19 Vaccination

On Tuesday Calderdale’s first resident received the vaccine, which is being delivered from a site in the central Primary Care Network. On the first day of the programme 313 people aged over 80 were vaccinated and only one person did not attend.

Central primary care network was selected to start vaccination first due to make up of the population (numbers of over 80s, BAME population and deprivation) Vaccination clinics operated 15th to 17th Dec. Storage issues mean the vaccine must be used within 3.5 days of arrival.

The top priority for roll out of the vaccine is Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers followed by those 80 years of age and over. The intention is to start to deliver the vaccine to care home staff and residents before the end of the month.

We are clear we want to address health inequalities and have developed a system wide equality impact assessment. In order to ensure there is an equitable uptake of the vaccine across the groups that can benefit most in Calderdale, the Council and CCG are doing the following:

• The vaccine roll-out is starting in the highest need area, which has the highest incidence of Covid across the life of the pandemic. It is also the area with the largest older people’s care homes

• We are engaging communities in the local areas, including asking questions and giving messages about the vaccine.

• A simple leaflet in English and local community languages has been developed to give out during the engagement and has also been provided to schools so that children can take them home on the last day of term

• Social prescribing link workers working in the area are encouraging people in the priority groups to attend and welcoming them to the vaccination clinics

• Our video of the fist Calderdale resident being vaccinated has been included on the local community TV channel (GEO news)

Targeted community testing using rapid tests

Calderdale Council has is working with Government on out plans for targeted community testing. This is being offered to all areas in Tier 3 restrictions.

The aim of Calderdale’s targeted community testing proposal is to identify asymptomatic covid-19 infection in high risk groups quickly and provide support for cases and those they may have exposed to isolate, breaking the chain of infection. The programme uses rapid tests.

We intend to roll out these tests rapidly at scale, starting with targeted settings where the impact and consequences of Covid-19 infection has the greatest impact. The first

phase of the testing is underway focusing on staff in a section of early years settings, schools and Calderdale College. We have received full approval from DHSC for our community testing plan.

Support for Care Homes

Care homes continue to receive support with regards to preventing and reducing risk of Covid-19 infections. Regular contact continues to be maintained with all care home providers and includes a range of support:

• Infection Prevention and Control support and intervention, in relation to PPE advice and training, outbreak prevention advice and guidance, and outbreak control support.

• Support with PPE and supply of PPE.

• Ensuring regular testing of residents and staff, and monitoring of results.

• Monitoring of staffing levels and supply of staff.

• Distribution of Infection Control Funding to support care homes in reducing risks which can cause transmission of infection.

• Monitoring of Covid testing conducted within care homes and flu vaccinations for both residents and staff.

Intensive support is offered to those care homes currently experiencing an outbreak or closed to new admissions.

Care Home Visits

National guidance has been released to support care and nursing homes home visits (link: Cabinet has been fully briefed on this issue, and supported the current approach to work closely with each provider to develop safe ways to enable visiting, and the use of lateral flow tests will be in very specific circumstances relating to those with dementia and based on upon rigorous risk assessment to protect all those at the care home.

Care Homes – Residents

There has been a reduction over the past week in the number of new cases of residents who are Covid positive. Currently, there are 26 confirmed cases identified as a result of full testing across all care homes, compared to 26 Covid positive residents the previous week. There are also 3 care homes currently closed to new admissions and has reduced by 1 compared to the previous week.

There have been no confirmed care home resident Covid related deaths this week and the total confirmed Covid related deaths of residents in Calderdale care homes remains at 70.

Care Homes – Staff

The number of staff currently positive continues to reduce, with 4 staff currently positive (compared to 13 reported last week). There are currently no staff symptomatic, out of a total care home workforce of almost 1,700.

Community Based Care

The number of service users receiving care at home either symptomatic or positive has risen over the last week. The number of service users positive currently stands at 15 (a reduction of 2 compared to last week). The number of service users symptomatic has increased slightly to 5 symptomatic cases this week, compared to 4 last week. In relation to staff, there are currently 11 symptomatic (a reduction of 2 from last week) and 25 positive members of community staff (a reduction of 5 compared to last week).

Covid 19 Testing

Testing has been further extended to extra care and supported living settings. Regular and high volumes of testing continue with 1,212 staff tests taking place this week and to date 23,213 staff tests have now been completed for care home staff.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

We delivered an additional 61,115 items of equipment the week ending December 17th and we have now cumulatively distributed 2,642,317 pieces of equipment locally.