Published: Friday, 22nd January 2021
Don’t drop your guard within your own home, if you live with someone with Covid symptoms.
That’s the message from director of public health Dr Louise Smith, amid concern that spread within homes accounted for over a third of cases.
Dr Smith is also concerned that cases in Norwich remain high, despite infections starting to reduce in the rest of Norfolk.
The latest figures show that:
- there are 730 Covid patients in Norfolk’s hospitals, including 55 in intensive care
- there have been 3,896 cases in the seven days to 16 January - this is 474 fewer compared to the same time last week
- the seven-day incidence rate is 439 per 100,000 - this is a reduction of 52 compared to the previous week
- for the county, the seven day incidence rate is 439 per 100,000 - this is a reduction of 52 compared to the previous week
Dr Smith said: “Case figures are reducing in Norfolk, except for in Norwich, which is looking like a regional outlier.
“In Norwich, cases are also rising among the over-60s. This is very concerning, as it may lead to more hospital admissions and deaths.”
Dr Smith said that 35 per cent of cases were now linked to where people lived – whether in their own homes or care homes.
She said: “It’s very easy to be wary of strangers but then drop your guard when someone you live with shows Covid symptoms.
“There are simple precautions everyone can follow, to keep yourself safe in these circumstances.”
Government guidelines include:
- Spending as little time as possible in shared spaces within the home, when the infected person is present
- Ensuring the infected person can eat meals in their own room
- Double-bagging any rubbish such as tissues used by the infected person
- Using separate towels and ensuring the bathroom is cleaned after the infected person has used it
The full guidelines and links to more information are included in the background section.
County council leader, Councillor Andrew Proctor, said: “I continue to be proud of how the people of Norfolk and all key agencies are working together in the face of this pandemic.
“I’m very encouraged by what we are hearing from NHS colleagues regarding the wider roll-out of vaccinations, including the new centre in the Castle Quarter in Norwich.
“The long-term way out of this situation is through vaccination. But in the meantime it’s still just as important that the guidelines of hands, face and space are strictly followed.
“It’s still early days in terms of analysing the information but we should get a better picture in coming weeks.”
The latest Government guidelines on staying safe at home are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection .
Latest vaccination information for Norfolk, from NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG:
- We would like to thank everyone who has offered sites for the vaccination programme. The NHS has now identified all sites we need and we are not looking for any additional venues.
- All 21 PCN sites are now live across Norfolk and Waveney.
- The first large vaccination centre in Norfolk and Waveney went live on 18/01/21 at Castle Quarter in Norwich.
- We are awaiting confirmation of when the other 12 large centres we’ve had approved will open, but we still expect they will go live from February in a phased approach.
- Hayden Chemists on Bridge Road in Lowestoft is the first high street pharmacy in Norfolk and Waveney to be offering the vaccination (live from 21/01/21) and the CCG is working with NHSE/I and local pharmacies to increase the number of pharmacies offering the vaccine.
- This week the Government announced that people aged 70 and over and the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) will begin to be vaccinated, and some local people in these groups are now being invited to have their vaccination; to be clear, we are continuing to prioritise those in priority groups 1 and 2, which is those people aged over 80, health and social care staff and older adult care home staff and residents.
- By Sunday, 24 January we will have offered the vaccine to all care home residents and staff living and working in homes for the over 65s. The only exceptions will be care homes that have or have recently had an outbreak of COVID-19 which has prevented this. New guidance published this week says that vaccinations can continue in homes with outbreaks if a risk assessment is undertaken, which we are doing.
- By the end of January, we will have offered the vaccine to all over 80s. The vast majority will be done this week, particularly those able to travel to a site or who live in a care home. It may take us a little longer to get to all those who are housebound across Norfolk and Waveney as this is more complicated, but they should still all be offered a vaccine by the end of January
- If patients have any difficulties in getting to their appointment, or require further assistance or support, they should discuss this with their GP practice or hospital when they are contacted.
- All GP practices have information about their local community transport schemes who can help patients to get to their vaccination appointments.
- Norfolk County Council has some information here: https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/care-support-and-health/health-and-wellbeing/adults-health/coronavirus/vaccinations
- Transport Plus is the last resort service in Norfolk, more details can be found here: https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/public-transport/transport-plus
- Caring Together is offering support to carers in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Norfolk, to enable them to access the COVID-19 vaccine. More information is available here: https://www.caringtogether.org/coronavirus-covid-19/support-for-carers-to-attend-covid-19-vaccinations
- Please do not contact your GP practice or hospital to request a COVID-19 vaccine. You will be contacted when it's your turn to be vaccinated.
- You can find out more information about the COVID-19 vaccination programme on the NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG website: www.norfolkandwaveneyccg.nhs.uk/covid-19-vaccination-programme.