South Gloucestershire Council’s Director of Public Health, Sara Blackmore, and Leader, Cllr Toby Savage, are calling on everyone to play their part to help control the spread of Covid-19 as cases continue to rise.
Sara Blackmore has recorded a video appealing to residents to act now to help reduce the spread of the virus.
While the infection rate here is relatively low compared to some parts of the country, as of today our dashboard for South Gloucestershire (www.southglos.gov.uk/dashboardcovid19) shows there have been 25 new laboratory confirmed cases in South Gloucestershire in the last seven days. The number of new confirmed cases reported each day fluctuates daily so we cannot be complacent.
As part of our efforts, with partners in the NHS and Public Health England we get daily updates on cases from a range of sources. That information helps us remain on the front foot, provide targeted proactive and reactive support to places such as schools, businesses and care homes.
We have that raw data, so that through our Local Outbreak Management process, we can be as prepared as we can be to react straightaway when cases are confirmed. The quality assured data is then shared by Public Health England and we make it available on our website, so that our community can better understand the risks, and how relatively low numbers can escalate quickly if we don’t all play our part to stop the spread.
There is a range of trigger points in terms of the number of cases per 100,000 in the population that could lead to further action, with strengthened measures to try to stop the virus in its tracks. We’ve seen these measures implemented in other parts of the country. Fortunately we aren’t at that stage in our area at the moment.
But the public can do their part by acting now to help reduce the risk of those measures being needed in South Gloucestershire in the future.
Director of Public Health for South Gloucestershire, Sara Blackmore, said: “The past six months have been challenging for everyone and the next few months will be crucial in keeping the spread of the virus to a minimum in South Gloucestershire.
“As individuals, our actions can help reduce the spread of the virus to people who are otherwise young and healthy, as well as to those who are more vulnerable and who can be badly affected.
“The way to stop that from happening; to keep everyone safe, is to follow the guidance: Hands, Face, Space.
“I can’t emphasise enough how important this is, but also how simple it is, to play your part. Wash your hands. Cover your face. Remember social distancing and please follow the national guidance on self-isolation. By working together and doing the right thing we are protecting others.
“I want to thank you for already doing so much, but I can’t stress enough how important it is that we all keep on doing the right thing.”
Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, Toby Savage, said: “Currently, the infection rate here is relatively low compared to some parts of the country.
“But a single case is more than any of us want to see. This virus is still out there and so, every single one of us must do everything we can to prevent it spreading.
“I’m not asking you to follow this guidance because we’re necessarily worried about an imminent outbreak in South Gloucestershire. I’m asking you to follow this guidance because by working together, and doing the right thing, we can do everything in our power to prevent a serious outbreak here.
“By doing the right thing we are protecting ourselves, our friends, family and loved ones, and others, who we have never met, as well as their friends, families and loved ones.
“As I said, our numbers are relatively low right now, but any case is a cause for concern, and we must not be complacent. Any case can affect a whole family – a child unable to go to school, a parent who can’t go to work, an elderly relative who needs extra care. It can also affect others in the community – a teacher who can’t teach, a work colleague who has to stay home or a care worker who can’t support those in their care.
“We have shown ourselves to be at our best when we work together as we have done for the past six months and I want to repeat my thanks to you all for already doing so much, but we need to stay the course on this so that we can all emerge healthy and strong and ready to thrive once more.”