Update from Steve Maddern, Director of Public Health

The next four weeks will be challenging for all of us, as we live with the new national restrictions now in force in England until 2 December. But the Government’s decision to introduce them, agreed by Parliament, was informed by clear evidence that hospitals across the region were projected to run out of capacity in a matter of weeks.

As of yesterday (5 Nov), Swindon’s case rate was 177.3 cases per 100,000, which is now above the average for the South West region of 153.3 per 100,000 but below the 236.6 per 100,000 case rate for England as a whole. In the last seven days, there have been 394 new positive cases in Swindon.

It is more important than ever that we all take steps to reduce the spread of infection in the community to save lives and protect the NHS.

Early next week we will be contacting Swindon residents who are considered to be ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’. This group includes those with reduced immune systems, for example due to organ transplants, or those with specific cancers or severe respiratory conditions, such as cystic fibrosis. If you are in this group, you will previously have received a letter from the NHS or from your GP telling you this. You may have been advised to shield in the past. Clinically extremely vulnerable residents should have received a letter from the Government this week advising on what you need to do during lockdown. A letter from the Council next week will explain the local help and support on offer to you.

I would like to stress that during these national restrictions, the Government is supporting the NHS to safely carry out urgent and non-urgent services. It is vital that anyone who thinks they need any kind of medical care comes forward and seeks help.

If there is anyone in your household with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection: this is what you need to do.

Thank you for playing your part to protect yourself, your loved ones and the thousands of vulnerable and at-risk residents across our community.

For more information and updates read the full E-Newsletter.