RESIDENTS must continue to play their part in keeping the virus at bay says a Warwickshire health chief.
Following the tightening of restrictions last week, the Director of Public Health for Warwickshire County Council is thanking residents for the sacrifices made so far, but urging them to play their part by following the new rules and looking out for each other.
The new rules include, for those who can do so to work from home, a 10pm curfew for hospitality venues and masks to be worn in such venues except when seated at a table to eat or drink.
Furthermore, from today (Monday) a maximum of 15 people may attend weddings, while 30 may attend funerals. Business conferences, exhibitions and large sporting events will not be reopened from October 1.
Warwickshire’s director of public health Dr Shade Agboola said: “I know the last six months have been really difficult for everyone and I also know that it has taken its toll on many families who have lost loved ones and on those whose mental health has suffered. The difficult facts are that we are still in a pandemic and although it doesn’t feel like it now, it will pass, and we will get back to celebrating and enjoying life with the ones we love.
“However, for now as with the rest of the country, we have seen a significant rise of cases across Warwickshire and although they are not as high as other parts of the country, they are still far higher than we want to see. The biggest issue we face currently is household transmission, where family and friends are coming together, and the virus is spreading from one family member to another and although the rise in cases started with younger people, we are now as anticipated seeing that translate into cases of older, more vulnerable residents.
“The second issue we face is a rise in transmission with people visiting pubs and restaurants in large numbers, moving from one pub to the next on a night out. Whilst new restrictions mean that pubs and restaurants will close at 10pm, which means that people will have fewer opportunities to move around for long periods of time, my advice to those visiting pubs and restaurants would be to stay in one place for the evening and keep your number of contacts low. This in turn will help to reduce the spread of the virus and the number of premises which will have to close as a result and the number of residents who will need to self-isolate.”
She said washing hands regularly, social distancing, and wearing masks was key to reducing the spread and keeping Warwickshire communities safer. He further advised anyone with symptoms of covid-19, including a raised temperature, a new, continuous cough or a change or loss of senses of taste or smell, must self-isolate with their household and get a test.
She added: “I know that some people have experienced delays in being able to get tested and whilst this is challenging, you need to do the right thing by staying home and self-isolating. New testing slots are being released twice daily, so do please continue to try and get a test if you have any symptoms. However, please do not book a test if you do not have any symptoms. It’s only by working together that we can really make a difference. So please, let’s do the right thing and help to keep the communities of Warwickshire safer.”
Visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus for more information on the new guidance.
Anyone affected by the impact of covid-19 can call 0800 408 1447 for Warwickshire County Council’s covid helpline.