Coronavirus update from Dr Sandra Husbands
As you will have seen in the news there has been a steady increase in coronavirus cases across the country. This is also true in Hackney, where data is showing a steady increase across all wards.
Currently Hackney's borough wide infection rate is 40 cases per 100,000 people. The most recent data shows the highest rates are in Stamford Hill West (115 per 100,000), Springfield (80 per 100,000) and Cazenove (70 per 100,000). We have also seen numbers creeping up in Hackney Downs (56 per 100,000) and Hackney Wick (54 per 100,000).
The numbers are very concerning, and it’s important we all do everything we can to tackle the virus locally. You will see posters up across the borough reminding everyone that it is more important than ever to be vigilant, and to make sure we are following the national guidelines, including:
Hands: Keep washing your hands regularly or using hand sanitizer
Face: Cover your face, wear a face covering in enclosed spaces
Space: Stay at least two metres apart - or at least one metre with a face covering or other precautions
There is good news too, in the fact that testing seems to again be widely available in Hackney and for residents in the City of London. If you have coronavirus symptoms such as a new, continuous cough or loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, even mildly, please isolate yourself from other people for 10 days and get a test as soon as possible. You can order a home test, or book an appointment at the four test centres in Hackney by downloading the NHS COVID-19 app, calling 119 or going to nhs.uk/coronavirus. Plans for a local test centre to be located within the Square Mile are now far advanced - an announcement confirming location and opening date is expected next week.
Another positive development is that Hackney Council and the City of London Corporation are both supporting the national contact tracing system. Since launching last week, we have successfully contacted 75 residents who are now self-isolating. This is great news, as each person who self-isolates means potential lives are saved. These 75 people have helped us identify others who may have been exposed - NHS Test and Trace can then follow up with those individuals to help prevent the spread of the virus. If you are asked to self isolate by a contact tracer, regardless of symptoms, you must do so to keep from possibly passing it onto others.
I want to say to all our residents in Hackney and the City of London, keep up the good work in your mask wearing and social distancing, but there is still more to do. We still all need to work together to prevent the virus from spreading in the community to keep Hackney safe and keep the City safe, too.
If you have coronavirus symptoms, even mild ones, please isolate yourself from other people for 10 days and get a test. If you are asked to self isolate, regardless of symptoms, you must do so to keep from possibly passing it onto others. You can book a test online by downloading the NHS COVID-19 app, or calling 119.
Coronavirus symptoms are:
- A high temperature
- A new, continuous cough
- A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
As cases continue to rise, please make sure you stick to the rules to protect yourself and others.
- You must not meet up in groups larger than six people indoors or outdoors in any social setting (with minimal exceptions).
- Wash your hands regularly, for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water isn’t available, then use hand sanitiser.
- Wear a face covering on public transport, in shops and other enclosed areas, or anywhere it is difficult to socially distance. This also now includes hospitality venues unless you are seated to eat or drink.
- Keep a safe distance from other people outside your household (at least two metres where possible).
- Self isolate for 10 days if you have symptoms of coronavirus or you have tested positive, had an unclear result or did not have a test
- Self isolate for 14 days if you have returned from abroad unless you are arriving from an exempt country
- Self isolate for 14 days if you have been in contact with someone who tests positive for coronavirus, or you have been told to by NHS Test and Trace
- Book a free test now if you have symptoms of Covid-19 (a high temperature, new or continuous cough or a change/loss in your normal sense of taste or smell) and stay at home until you get your result.
- Stay at home if you test positive for Covid-19 or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive and been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test