The Director of Public Health will provide a Verbal update on the latest situation of Covid and the Councils response.
(Sarah Muckle – 07816071701)
The Director of Public Health provided a Verbal update on the latest situation of Covid and the Councils response, during her presentation she alluded to the following:
· That currently the number of infections were higher than during the January peak.
· The average age of those infected was 28 years old, so mainly it was affecting younger people, probably as a consequence of the vaccine having already been administered to the older age group.
· Although hospital admissions were less than during the previous waves, those requiring hospitalisation were acutely more ill.
· Current Covid rates were averaging 331 cases per 100k, with 256 new cases per day, a 33% increase, compared to the Yorkshire rate of 390 cases per 100k, a 48% rise and compared to the England average of 302 cases per 100k, a 45% increase.
· That the delta variant was now the dominant variant and in the national league table the district was 81st, in January of this year Bradford district was 2nd.
· That some wards had over 500 cases per 100k , so there were hotspots in densely populated areas and an increase in the secondary school population.
· There had been 143 outbreaks in 125 schools, however the upcoming school holidays was seen as a circuit breaker in terms of infection rates.
· PCR testing was averaging 570 per 100k, with a considerable amount coming back as positive .
· That tracking the virus and getting people to isolate was key in driving down infection rates.
· Vaccination rates were good as the roll out continued with a majority of adults having received their first dose of the vaccine.
· That the 19 July was a critical date in terms of the easing of the remaining restrictions, however vigilance and caution were still required, as the virus showed no signs of abating.
The Chair thanked the Director of Public Health for her detailed overview.
During the discussion a Member asked what impact the virus had had on businesses and what measures they had in place to protect the public. In addition how many businesses had been in breach of the lockdown measures.
In response the Director of Public Health stated that local businesses had received good support throughout the pandemic, and that extra staff had been drafted to provide additional help, undertake sport checks, to ensure businesses had the right risk assessments in place. Outbreaks had been to a minimum, however fines had been issued and there had been some repeat offenders, with court action applied in a small number of cases. The detailed figures would be circulated to Members.
Within the school sector no school has had to close completely during the pandemic, however bubbles have had to be sent home.
A Member raised the issue of how information and communication around the pandemic had been disseminated in the district, and in particular in the context of the diverse nature of the district. In response the Director of Public Health stated that this issue had been addressed from the outset of the pandemic and that information was available in many languages. In addition since the rollout of the vaccine issues around vaccine hesitancy and take up had also been addressed. The work and success of the Covid Young Ambassadors was also commended. Although some challenges remained in certain communities, Bradford had been at the forefront and the work done in the district had also been recognised nationally.
In response to a question as to where the highest outbreaks were in the district, it was explained that the weekly data produced had the ward data. However the areas of the district with the highest deprivation levels, generally had the highest infection rates, and where isolating was difficult and therefore transmission between households was higher. Again this was linked to health inequalities and poverty.
In response to a question regarding testing, it was acknowledged that PCR testing was freely available.
In response to a question regarding the issue of long Coivd, it was stated that this information was kept by the hospitals, and although support was available more work was required going forward.
The Chair thanked the Director of Public Health for her overview and the detailed responses to Members’ questions, and looked forward to receiving a further update at the September meeting.
That the verbal update from the Director of Public Health be noted.
ACTION: No Action