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Martin Tett on Covid Concerns

by Martin Tett – 29th October 2021
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Whilst most of us have seen life return to something approaching 'normal' over the past few months it is important to remember that Covid has not gone way and remains a threat to many in our county.

You may have seen in the news that Covid infection rates are rising again nationally. This is also true in Buckinghamshire. Here we now have an infection rate of 699 per 100,000 population. This compares to just 440 a few weeks ago.

It is important to stress that infection rates are not the same as serious illness. Infection rates reflect the number of people being tested and also will include many people who do not display any symptoms at all. More than half of Covid infections in Bucks are either school age children or live with school age children.

With our national vaccine programme, it is also more likely that anyone catching Covid will not suffer severe effects. Nevertheless, the trend is concerning and we are seeing more cases amongst older aged people who may be more vulnerable to serious illness. This is especially true if they have not been fully vaccinated.

The current Covid-19 figures for Buckinghamshire can be found here.

A concern is that rising Covid cases, when combined with a greater likelihood of catching the winter flu, the need for the NHS to catch up with the large backlog of operations and treatments delayed due to Covid, and higher numbers of people attending Accident and Emergency departments is already putting pressure on our NHS hospitals in Buckinghamshire. None of us want to go back into more restrictions unnecessarily.

I am therefore urging all of us to take the basic sensible precautions that will reduce the likelihood of this being necessary.

I would strongly encourage you to:

  • Be vaccinated if you're eligible. This is so important.
  • Have the booster vaccination as soon as you're eligible. You will be invited by the NHS to book an appointment.
  • Have your winter flu jab if you're eligible.
  • Wear a face mask on public transport and when asked to by shops and in crowded enclosed spaces.
  • Self-isolate and book a PCR test if you have symptoms.
  • Keep rooms ventilated if you're meeting with others inside.

The council has been working hard with other organisations to help keep Buckinghamshire safe. This has included working with the NHS to set up more local vaccine clinics, sending mobile testing vans into our communities and supporting the vaccine roll out for 12-15 year olds in secondary schools.

We have come a long way since the difficult lockdown days earlier this year. Let's keep working together to keep each other safe.

Martin Tett
Leader, Buckinghamshire Council

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