Calderdale Coronavirus Update

Released by Calderdale Council – 26 Jan 2022

So the good news is that Calderdale is now ranked 98th in terms of covid cases by local authority. However, at a recent public health meeting, Debs Harkins, Director of Public Health in Calderdale, asked me to send out a message to all the covid support and mutual aid groups asking for your support.

Our hospital and social care system is under unprecedented pressure. As of yesterday, there were 157 people with covid in hospital, and to put this in context, the previous highest peak only reached 155. Added to the high rates of staff absences due to covid this is creating a serious situation. In addition, there are approx 40 covid outbreaks in care settings, meaning that many care homes have had to be closed to new admissions, and there are also a large number of care staff off with covid, or caring for children who are off with covid (there are approx 100 outbreaks in schools this week!)

What this has meant is that people who are fit to be discharged are having to be kept in hospital where covid is rife, because the care isn’t there for them. It also means some people who could actually best be admitted from home to a care home, under normal circumstances, are temporarily housed in hospital instead.

And a letter is going to be distributed asking for patience from our residents, as it is the case that some people who need to be discharged, are just not going to receive the care at home that they should expect. Families and other supporters are going to have to step up to do some of the work that is normally part of the local service.

Debs wanted me to make you aware of this situation for people in your area. It may well be the case that there are people needing support and it would be great if you could check in with your networks/ wider community so that everyone is aware of the greater need at the moment for support.

We also need to keep stressing that yes, Omicron might be milder, but it’s still extremely serious for some people. We’re likely all going to get it at some point, but for the sake of our NHS and social care services, we need to all do our bit to make sure we don’t get it all at once. The rates look like they are falling in Calderdale, but this masks the fact that because confirmatory PCR tests are not needed at the moment, many are testing positive with a lateral flow and then not registering the result. Cases remain very very high, so pressure on the hospital will stay for at least the next few weeks.

We need to keep balancing risks and using safety measures like mask-wearing (despite restrictions being lifted because the peak in London has passed), and importantly, encourage people to Get Boosted. There are still only 4 people in ICU, so this is positive news, and this is because of the vaccination. No-one who is boosted has ended up in ICU for ages now locally.

So the knock-on effects are huge. With many restrictions being removed tomorrow, the Balance your Risks message has never been more important.