Gloucestershire living with covid
As the remaining government covid measures come to an end, it’s important to acknowledge the fantastic community response seen across Gloucestershire throughout the pandemic.
Gloucestershire County Council also recognises the efforts of communities over the last two years and shares sincere thanks to the county for pulling together during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Gloucestershire Help Hub - run by the county council and designed to connect those who could help with those who needed help as a result of COVID-19 and isolation - received a total of 3742 individual offers of help; proving Gloucestershire people will go above and beyond to help those in need.
Although the county has some of the best vaccine take up rates in the country it is important every continues to take a few simple steps to remain safe and well.
What you need to do to prevent the spread:
- Wash hands and use sanitiser regularly
- Open a window to ventilate indoor spaces
- Consider wearing a face covering in crowded places
- Stay at home and rearrange plans if unwell
- Get a jab; vaccinations remain the best way to prevent serious illness.
There are some settings and circumstances where additional infection, prevention and control measures will continue to help protect people who are most at risk of harm from COVID-19 and contain any spread of the virus. This includes in care homes who will put specific measures in place that work for their specific circumstances. We will also make sure rapid testing is available for individuals for those at greater risk to ensure they can access new treatments as quickly as possible, to minimise the impact of covid on them.
In the same way as the Government is intending to remain able to respond to any new variant, Gloucestershire will remain ready to respond in a number of ways, including:
- Prepared to bring back Local Contact Tracing
- Prepared to carry out Targeted Community Testing
- Access mass surge testing if required
- Building resilience in our workforce in advance
More about our plans for living safely with covid can be found here.
Cllr Tim Harman, cabinet member for public health, said, “As we take the next steps towards living safely with Covid-19 in Gloucestershire, I want to reassure our communities that we are ready to act if a new variant causes problems in future. Thanks to a fantastic vaccination roll out and take up in Gloucestershire its clear there is a widely shared commitment to minimising the impact of covid of our lives. We must continue to do the simple but effective things we know will help.”
“Our plan to live safely with Covid-19 also has a focus on addressing the health inequalities highlighted by the pandemic; we need to continue to work hard to improve the health of individuals and communities across the county, making sure everyone in Gloucestershire can live a healthy, happy life.”
Sarah Scott, director of Public Health and Adult Social Care, said, “We need to be mindful that the last two years have affected everyone differently as we make this transition. It’s okay to be cautious as our routines change again, and there are ways we can protect ourselves from covid and other bugs that will be circulating.
“Good hand hygiene, opening a window to let air in, and rearranging your plans if you feel unwell will help us all to stay safe and well. However, the best defence we have is the vaccine, and there are still opportunities to get whichever jabs you need.”
About the plan
Gloucestershire’s updated plan sets out our local strategy to live safely with COVID-19 in Gloucestershire. It replaces Gloucestershire’s Local Outbreak Management Plan and sets the direction for how we will continue to prevent, contain, respond and monitor COVID-19 in a different way.
It also outlines how we will be able to step back up surge testing if necessary. It focuses on how to prevent the spread of the virus, steps which will be taken to protect and contain, and then respond effectively to outbreaks.
The plan has been published in preparation for testing in England to stop from 1 April. Last month the Government announced it would no longer provide free universal symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for the public in England. As a result, all testing sites in Gloucestershire will be closing at the end of March and are currently scheduled to be demobilised and dismantled by UKHSA in the summer.
You can read the most recent government announcement at Government sets out next steps for living with COVID - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)