Message for everyone to keep infection rates down in Calderdale

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With Calderdale measuring higher infection rates and new restriction in place, Debs Harkins, Director of Public Health, Calderdale Council has released the following message (Abbreviated).

This is a request that we all do our part in reducing incidents of Coronavirus in Calderdale.

I’m asking for your help today to bring the infection rate down. This is important to us all for many reasons. We all want to get our freedoms back so we can visit family and friends outside our households.

How we can protect ourselves and our loved ones:

  • Wash or sanitise hands frequently
  • Practice good respiratory hygiene – Catch it, Kill it, Bin it
  • Avoid gatherings, crowded places and close contact with others
  • Don’t visit or have visits from people outside your household or support bubble in homes or gardens. This includes care home visiting
  • If you do come into contact with people outside your household/ bubble observe social distancing – 2 metres. This may not apply in your workplace depending on your job
  • Wear a face covering, in enclosed spaces where there are people outside your household bubble (other than at work) such as in shops, taxis, places of worship, visits to NHS services

For those if us who have symptoms or have been in contact with someone with the virus

  • If you get symptoms, stay at home for 10 days, self-isolate and book a test online by visiting the NHS  website, there are different ways you can get a test to suit your circumstances, including walk-up, home delivery and drive in
  • If you are contacted by the test and trace service and told you have been in contact with a confirmed covid-19 case, follow the advice you are given. This will be to stay at home for 14 days
  • If you need support because you have been advised to self-isolate visit Calderdale Council website and click on coronavirus on the front page if you can’t get online call 01422 392890.

Many of us will know people who are medically vulnerable to serious effects of Covid-19 and will want to ensure that the infection rate remains low to protect them, as the national shielding programme ends and we prepare for winter demands on health and care services.

Many of us will be concerned about children’s education and recognise that they being able to return to school may mean that we need to make sacrifices in other parts of our lives.

It’s also important that we all understand that if we are to successfully implement these actions, our infection rate will increase before it reduces. This is because we need to find more people with Covid-19, so that they can be supported to isolate to reduce the spread of virus. This increase before the decrease has been seen in other areas that have successfully reduced the infection rate.

Because of our high infection rate, Calderdale has been given the opportunity to deliver a local Covid-19 contact tracing service to work hand-in-hand with the national NHS Test and Trace service. This will be launched on Friday 14th August, subject to approval at a meeting with Government on that day. Local contact tracing will work by details of contacts of people who have tested positive for Covid-19, that have not been reached by the national service within 48 hours, being passed to the local public health team. We will then try to contact them, by text, phone or by knocking on their doors, to give them advice and support to self-isolate. The local service will be delivered by a partnership between Calderdale Council, local NHS organisations, local businesses and local voluntary and community groups, all of whom have in-depth knowledge of local communities, that no national service can ever be expected to have.

The Council and Police are working hard to support local businesses and workplaces implement the restrictions to protect their staff and customers. We are visiting premises across the borough to offer support, but if we find organisations that are breaching the regulations, and that are unwilling to implement the improvements we recommend, we will take enforcement action.

You can keep up to date with the Covid-19 situation in Calderdale on the Council’s coronavirus webpages here

Debs Harkins, Director of Public Health, Calderdale Council