Calderdale Covid-19 Update

7 January 2021

This is an update circulated to Calderdale’s “Covid-Champions”, people in the community selected to share important information about the pandemic in the local area.

General Situation with Covid Rates in Calderdale

·       The 7 day Covid-19 rate per 100,000 for tests carried out  in the 7 days prior to 1st January was 270 compared to 245 on 31/12. Increase of 61% in the last week. 13% of people tested got a positive result.

·       This remains lower than some other areas in the country, but is rising fast and still dangerously high, and we need to do all we can to try to contain the rate of spread.  But we still have time to prevent things getting as extreme as they are elsewhere (where rates are over 1000 per 100,000) if we act now. And by now we mean today, tomorrow and the next few days.

·       A significant problem is the new variant of Covid which is spreading in Calderdale, and is 50-70% more transmissible. There is no evidence at the moment that this variant makes people more poorly, but because it is much easier to catch, more people will become very ill and require treatment in our hospitals which are under extreme pressure.

·       Because it is more transmissible we’ve all got to do even more and be even stricter than we were in the first wave/lockdown. We must stay at home with immediate effect. What we do now is crucial and we only have a few days to act

National Lockdown Summary

You must stay at home. The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. This is the law.

Leaving home
You must not leave your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:

·       shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person

·       go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home

·       exercise once a day, locally, with your household (or support bubble) or one other person.

·       meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one

·       seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)

·       attend education or childcare – for those eligible. Schools and colleges remain open only for vulnerable children and children of critical workers. Early Years settings remain open.

If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local – unless it is necessary to go further, for example to go to work.
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You should not attend work

Hands. Face. Space.
Approximately 1 in 3 people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and could be spreading it without realising it.
Remember – ‘Hands. Face. Space.’

Test, Trace & Isolate

·       If you have symptoms, book a test in the usual way.

·       People with symptoms and those they live with must isolate while they wait for their test result

·       If you are told you’re a contact you must isolate for the full 10 days. There’s no point in getting a test as a negative test result won’t cut short your isolation period. This is because of the incubation period.

·       Community Rapid Flow testing for people without symptoms is being rolled out in Calderdale in a targeted way, focusing on workplaces (including voluntary and charitable) that carry a higher risk of contracting the virus. People in such occupations can book a test at the two testing stations in Todmorden College and St John’sHealth Centre, Halifax, on the Calderdale Council website.

·       There is financial support to self isolate available for people who qualify – contact Calderdale Council 01422-392890 or via the website

·       Support is also available for help with things like picking up shopping or medication, walking dogs, and someone to talk to.

·       We are interested to hear about problems that people might be having self isolating

 

Vaccination Programme in Calderdale

·       Vaccinations are available for those in priority groups, and is already being delivered at a number of surgeries across Calderdale, the hospital, and soon, it will be available at a community site in Halifax.

·       People should NOT contact their GP or the hospital to request a vaccination – they will be contacted when it is their turn.

·       The change in vaccination schedule that was announced recently – UK Chief Medical Officers have agreed a longer timeframe between first and second doses so that more people can get their first dose quickly, and because the evidence shows that one dose still offers a high level of protection. This decision will allow us to get the maximum benefit for the most people in the shortest possible time and will help save lives. Getting both doses remains important so we would urge people to return for their second vaccination at the right time.

·       This means that some people will have their appointments for the 2nd jab changed, but if you are among first cohort to be vaccinated, unless you hear from your surgery, you should attend as planned.

·       The vaccination roll out is going extremely well in Calderdale with around 75% of our over 80s having already received the first injection, along with several thousand NHS and care workers.

·       Neither of the two vaccines currently available contain porcine (pork) products.

·       Both vaccinations have both been extensively tested on tens of thousands of volunteers. The reasons that it is available in such a short space of time is not because safety has been compromised, but because there has been unprecedented international cooperation, ample funding, political will, and less bureaucratic hoops.

·       The vaccine is safe for almost everyone, does not impact fertility, and like other vaccines, due to the way it works, does not pose a threat of other long-term health impacts.

·       People with history of a severe allergy to the ingredients of the vaccines should not be vaccinated.

·       The MHRA has updated its guidance to say that pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding can have the vaccine but should discuss it with a clinician to ensure that the benefits outweigh any potential risks.

·       Similarly, advice for women planning a pregnancy has also been updated and there is no need for women to delay pregnancy after having the vaccination.

·       Vaccinations will only be available through the NHS for the moment. Anyone who claims to be able to provide you with a vaccine for a fee is likely to be committing a crime and should be reported to the Police online or by calling 112. Any such text message is a scam – ignore!

 

People with diabetes or with friends/family who have diabetes

·       People with diabetes are not any more likely to catch Covid-19 than anybody else, but they may become more seriously ill. It’s especially important that people with diabetes and their families stick to the Covid-19 guidelines.

·       Things people with diabetes can do to help control their diabetes:

–          Take medications as they have been advised to by their doctor;

–          Be physically active;

–          If they are overweight try and lose a little bit of weight;

–          Take up any invitations for a check up or review that they get from their GP practice

·       Ask people what there is in their community to help people manage their diabetes and what support might people need that is missing or hard to find in their community.