By Dr Mark Howcutt - 30th December 2020 4:45pm
Buckinghamshire remains in Tier 4 which means we are in an area with very rapidly rising level of infections, necessitating tighter restrictions.
The evidence tells us that the mutation is no more dangerous than the previous versions of the virus and the vaccine will still be effective. But the new strain can spread more easily and in fact, we have seen a large increase in the number of positive cases reported to the surgery over the last few weeks.
This rise is a good reminder to us all that the 'stay at home' message is more important than ever.
For these reasons, we need to take extra care to avoid the spread of this new strain of virus to our vulnerable patients and to our staff.
Please can we remind you that you must wear facemasks, which cover both your nose and your mouth, while in the surgery unless you have a valid reason. We will now also ask patients to wait outside for their appointment to minimise even further the number of people in our waiting room.
The patient toilet is closed except in emergencies.
We hope that you will understand why these tighter measures are required and that you will work with us to reduce the risk of spread of infection.
From early January, our staff are playing their part at the Aylesbury Vaccination Centre so that our most vulnerable patients receive their vaccination as soon as possible.
We are excited at today's news that we now have two vaccines to make this process even faster. However, our efforts to vaccinate everyone will mean that there will be reduced staff available in the practice to deal with non-urgent queries, so that staff can support the vaccination programme.
Please be patient with us.
Remember: "hands, face, space and replace" — continue to wash your hands regularly, use a face mask, make space (aiming to keep at least 2 metres away from others), and replace the air in your indoor spaces with good ventilation.
2020 has been awful! Hopefully with the new vaccines coming and with our continued efforts, 2021 will be much better!
Dr Mark Howcutt
Haddenham Medical Centre
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