With the rise in Covid cases across Bath and North East Somerset, local leaders today warned about the danger of a local lockdown if people ignore the rules on “hands-face-space” and social gatherings.
Dr Bruce Laurence, B&NES director of Public Health, said: “We are treading a fine line and there is a real danger that we could see Bath and North East Somerset follow other areas which are now in the higher alert levels. So our message today is clear – it is only through each and every one of us taking action to prevent further spread of this disease that we can hope to stay outside the local lockdown measures.
“We should all be prudent and cautious, but if we follow guidance, we need not be fearful. That means where people are applying good rules, it is safe to go out for essential activities like shopping in all parts of Bath and North East Somerset.
Currently Bath & North East Somerset is on medium alert level and we must:
Follow all the rules, including on hand-washing, face coverings, social distancing, and gatherings. Remember- Hands: Face: Space.
If we have symptoms, self-isolate and book a test on119 or online at nhs.uk/coronavirus
Follow instructions from Test and Trace
The council will be reinforcing these messages through posters at bus stops, on Park and Ride Buses, online and in a letter to residents.
Dr Laurence added: “We are at the medium level of alert and there is no strict rule about households mixing beyond the rule of six, but if we want to remain out of lockdown, we should all limit non-essential mixing between households as much as possible, and certainly avoid crowded places where people are not being careful about their behaviour.
“Please ask yourself, whenever you are mixing with others or going out, is this necessary? Is this safe? Is the benefit worth the risk to me and to others?
“Finally, as we approach Halloween and Bonfire night please avoid Trick or Treating or anything else that puts you, or others at risk.”
Councillor Dine Romero, council leader, added: ““I want to reassure residents that where there are cases our public health team is working with Public Health England and those affected, to ensure the measures are put in place to control the virus. But we are in real danger of lockdown if people don’t follow the rules”
“Our Hub on 0800 247 0050 can help with food and medication and provide support if you are vulnerable, isolated, lonely or anxious”
The Hub, a collaboration between the Virgin Care, 3SG, NHS and the Council has SO FAR received over 8000 calls for help with over 2000 tasks such as helping with food and medicines carried out by volunteers
To control the spread of coronavirus in B&NES the council:
Works with Public Health England, health colleagues and individual settings to identify cases and clusters and put practical measures in place.
Works very closely with the universities and colleges, who have comprehensive measures in place, to look after their student and to reassure wider community
Is training people to be able to contact trace to support PHE
Is gearing up to manage any increase in demand over winter
Is supporting care providers and closely monitoring all our care homes particularly around PPE and advice
Is working with schools, providing public health advice and guidance when cases arise
Successfully contained one spike of 20 to 30 cases a few weeks ago in the Midsomer Norton area which was traced to a pub and a social group and was successfully contained
Through its Environmental Health Officers, regularly tours city and town centres to monitor and intervene where necessary
Is vetting any events planned in Bath and North East Somerset
Has worked with partners to secure mobile testing units and the new walk-through local testing site in Bath
Is closely monitoring business continuity arrangements to make sure services can cope with combined winter and Covid pressures.
Is consistently sharing national and local public health messages across its communications platforms
Has worked with business to open the city and towns safely
Has put in measures in the city centre and high streets to help social distancing
You can find the latest coronavirus figures for the area here https://coronavirus-staging.data.gov.uk/details/interactive-map