This update is taken from the Calderdale Covid Champions email newsletter and is based on advice and information from local NHS sources. Remember, you can pick up a vaccination at one of Calderdale’s vaccine drop-in centres, without an appointment.
Covid-19 is still circulating in Calderdale at high levels
In the 7 days prior to the 6th of October, the overall rate in Calderdale was 524 per 100,000, a slight drop on previous figures.
As of Sept 26, rates were highest in young people from 11-16, and children 5-10, with cases increasing in the age groups either sides of those.
As of Oct 7, 101 acute beds (a rise of 22) and 10 intensive care beds were occupied by Covid patients in Calderdale.
As of this week, case rates have started to come down amongst the over-60s; however this is from a very high rate last week, when Calderdale was 5th highest in the country.
Key messages: we have never had such high rates for such a long period. The vaccine continues to weaken the link between high case rates and serious illness although there is some indication of waning immunity in those that were vaccinated at the start of the programme. We are preparing for the roll out of the flu vaccination and with the pressures that our local NHS are under it has never been more important for as many of us a possible to get our flu jab. It is important that contacts of cases get a PCR test even if they are no longer required to self isolate.
PCR & Laternal Flow Testing
A PCR test must be taken if you have any of the 3 main symptoms of Covid-19 (new cough, fever or loss/change to sense of taste or smell). You should also take a PCR test if:
· You have been identified as a contact of a positive case and you are feeling generally unwell yourself – this doesn’t have to be any of the 3 main symptoms.
· You have received a positive lateral flow test result (see below).
Info about how to access PCR tests in Calderdale can be found here – and Asda is also providing them.
While you are waiting for a PCR test and its results you should start to self isolate.
Twice weekly rapid lateral flow testing continues available to everyone without symptoms. You can:
Order test kits online to be delivered to your home (Google order lateral flow test).
Collect test kits to take home from a local pharmacy. There is a website https://maps.test-and-trace.
If you get a positive rapid lateral flow test result you should book a PCR test to confirm the result within 2 days. You must start to isolate straight away while you are waiting for your PCR test and its result.
If you have been identified as a contact of somebody who has tested positive a negative lateral flow test does not mean that you can cut short your isolation period.
Ideally you should register your LFT results online each time you use a kit and within 24 hours of taking the test (or Google Report lateral flow test) but this is not essential. It is more important that you take the tests regularly and you act straight away if you get a positive result.
Step 4: Lifting Restrictions
In England, most legal restrictions to control COVID-19 have been lifted at step 4. Government guidance now states:
You do not need to stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with. There are also no limits on the number of people you can meet.
* However, in order to minimise risk at a time of high prevalence, you should limit the close contact you have with those you do not usually live with, and increase close contact gradually. This includes minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts.
* You should meet outdoors where possible and let fresh air into homes or other enclosed spaces.
* The Government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can. However, the Government expects and recommends a gradual return over the summer.
* The requirement to wear face coverings in law has been lifted. However, the Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.
* There are no longer limits on the number of people who can attend weddings, civil partnerships, funerals and other life events (including receptions and celebrations). There is no requirement for table service at life events, or restrictions on singing or dancing. You should follow guidance for weddings and funerals to reduce risk and protect yourself and others.
* There are no longer restrictions on group sizes for attending communal worship. COVID-19 has not gone away, so it’s important to remember the actions you can take to keep yourself and others safe. Everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious.