Together We’re Better Tier 2 Update
On Thursday, it was announced that from 00:01am tomorrow (Saturday 31 October) Staffordshire will be placed into the tier 2 ‘high’ alert category.
Stoke-on-Trent has also been in this category for almost a week and the City Council is urging residents to go above and beyond to combat the spread of the virus. This comes after a very sharp rise in the number of positive cases over the past couple of weeks locally. The result of which has seen cases in our local hospitals soar, almost doubling each week, which is very worrying indeed.
The new alert level means that if you live in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent you must follow the new rules. You must not meet with anyone in an indoor setting that does not live in your house, or in your support bubble. This includes private homes and other indoor venues such as pubs and restaurants. You can still meet outdoors in gardens, for example, but the rule of six still applies and you must still stay two metres apart or at least one metre with added protection, such as face coverings.
The full guidance can be found here.
It has also been announced that the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent public and emergency services, the Staffordshire Resilience Forum, has once again declared a Major Incident across the city and county. This has been agreed, as the situation will require enhanced multi-agency activity and co-ordination, which is beyond the scope of current operations.
Indeed, this is a very serious situation, with our local hospitals now reporting that they have more coronavirus in-patients in the hospitals than at the first peak, back in April. This week, University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) also reported that at this same point in time last year there were three patients in with flu.
At the time of the messaging, there were 170 patients in its hospitals with coronavirus, so it is clear that this is far more serious than seasonal flu.
However, routine appointments are still going ahead, and we want to ensure you that if you need help from the NHS, we’re here for you. We want to keep it that way, so please make sure that you are doing everything you possibly can to slow the spread of this virus.
Please do not be mistaken, the threat that we are facing locally is very real.
Numbers are going up at a clearly alarming rate and hospital admissions are rising by the day.
We know that the new restrictions are frustrating, especially after it seemed that we had faced the worse and were coming out the other side. However, we battled this together before and we can do it again. Please follow the new rules. Do not mix with people from outside your household in indoor settings. Limit how much you mix with people outdoors. Wash your hands frequently. Wear a face covering where
Your NHS is here for you, but we need your help.
We want to reassure people that testing capacity in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent has improved, following the national lab capacity issues during September. If you have symptoms, these being a new, continuous cough, a high temperature OR and loss/change to your usual sense of taste or smell, it is important that you book a test as early as possible.
There are a range of testing sites locally. You can book a test online here, or by calling 119.People in Rolleston-on-Dove are also now being urged to book a coronavirus test after a surge in cases in the village.
The area is reporting a seven-day infection rate greater than 500 per 100,000 people, compared to a rate of fewer than 190 per 100,000 people across East Staffordshire.
To help curb the spread of infection in the area, everyone who lives in Rolleston-on Dove is being directed to the nearest local testing site is at Burton Town Hall.
People must book their test online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119, and when asked the reason for booking a test, select “My local council or health protection team has asked me (or someone I live with) to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms.”
In addition, a community testing site will also be open at Rolleston Scout Group in Station Road for anyone who is unable to travel into Burton. Testing will take place between 9.30am and 1:30pm tomorrow (Saturday 31 October). This testing is for people without symptoms of coronavirus, and a total of 200 spaces are now available.
Booking is live now through the website at: https://staffordshire.zipporah.co.uk/TrackAndTrace. Just select the date and venue, and go through the steps to book for your slot. You do not need an NHS number. Although we encourage people to book online wherever possible, we understand that not everyone in the Parish has access to the internet. Therefore, spaces can also be booked by calling 0300 111 8050 and selecting Option 1.
Resources for the local tier restrictions, including translated versions, can be found on the Public Heath England Campaign Resource Centre, here.
For the latest information on coronavirus, please visit the NHS and government websites.
Together We’re Better is the partnership of NHS and local government organisations, alongside independent and voluntary sector groups, that is working together to transform health and care services. You can find out more about us on our website: https://www.twbstaffsandstoke.org.uk/