Health boss thanks residents for sticking to covid rules

TAMESIDE Council Director of Public Health Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy has shared a message of thanks to residents for their continued efforts to reduce the spread of covid.

Dr de Gruchy has said everyone’s commitment to sticking to the rules is having a positive impact in helping to reduce local transmission rates, which have started to plateau with Tameside ranked 8th in Greater Manchester and 106th nationally for the number of new infections.

However she said that with a rate of 351 per 100,000 people getting infected, the figures are still too high and people need to stay at home and comply with restrictions to help protect the NHS and save lives.

She said: “I want to say a huge thank you to each and every person in Tameside for the huge sacrifices they are making in an effort to stick to the rules and protect themselves, their loved ones and their local community – you really are making a difference!

“It has been a long and hard slog and unfortunately it is not over yet – but if we can all keep up our commitment to complying with the restrictions as the vaccination is rolled out, then we will come through this to the lives we are all longing for.

“The new variant of covid is far more transmissible meaning it is much easier to catch and much easier to pass on. We are seeing this reflected in the increasing number of outbreaks in local workplaces and other settings and how each outbreak is now leading to more cases than we have seen previously.

“Everyone needs to behave as if they have covid and question their every move to consider whether they could be spreading it. Every contact we have is putting ourselves and others at risk and we should all be making every effort to stay a home and reduce the risk for everyone.

“Instead of looking where we can bend the rules, we should be doing everything we can to keep to the spirit of them. Is it really essential to make that trip to the shops? Does your child really have to go into school? Do you really have to go into the office? Every time we leave the house we are putting ourselves, our loved ones and our local community at more risk.

“The covid infection rates in Tameside are showing early signs of beginning to plateau but they are still way too high and putting local health services under extreme pressure.

“Under the rules, people are required to stay at home and only leave the house for essential reasons such as getting a Covid test, food shopping, essential work, education, exercise or helping someone vulnerable. Only shop alone and where necessary and exercise away from everyone else.

“We should all also remain extra vigilant about washing hands, making space to social distance and wear a face covering.”

The vaccination roll out across Tameside and Glossop is going well, with 19,000 people having already been vaccinated. When it is people’s turn to be vaccinated, they will receive an invitation. But there’s a long way to go before the wider community is protected.

Dr de Gruchy said: “The swift and efficient vaccination roll out in the local area out is excellent news but, while we can now see light at the end of the tunnel, we all need to remain focused and vigilant. It’s really important to remember that even people who have had the vaccine still need to stick to the rules as, while they themselves will be protected from becoming very poorly with virus, they can still get it and they can still pass it on to others who may not be protected. So we need people to be really responsible here.”

Enforcement activity continues to be stepped up to ensure people are complying.

Dr du Gruchy said: “We appreciate most people are sticking to the rules and I want to thank people for this. However, where people are not being responsible about complying, they could face a fine.

“Our enforcement teams have been working closely with the police to check up on and promote compliance across the borough.  Spot checks are being carried out a businesses and we are also responding to concerns, queries and complaints. Additionally, officers are focusing on reports of household gatherings and parties and issuing fixed penalty notices where appropriate. “

If you develop symptoms of coronavirus – such as a fever, new continuous cough or loss or change of taste or smell – you can obtain a test by visiting or calling 119. If your test is positive, you must follow the guidance including self-isolating immediately.

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