Today, the government announced additional support for Torbay in response to the continued very high level of COVID-19 cases.
Currently, the case rate is 618/100,000 which is more than three times our previous highest rate in January and many people, especially younger adults are not yet vaccinated. This has resulted in more people becoming ill and hospitalised, significant pressure on our local NHS and severe disruption to our businesses and other services.
From today, and for a five week period, Torbay is an Enhanced Response Area along with Devon, Cornwall, Plymouth and the Isles of Scilly. This means the government has prioritised our areas for additional support to reduce case rates. It does not mean another local lockdown, but that we have more flexibility to introduce additional public health measures if considered necessary.
For now, we must all act quickly and cautiously to slow the growth of COVID-19 cases in the Bay and allow time for more people to get fully vaccinated.
People are urgently being asked to:
– Get both vaccinations as soon as possible and give it time to work
– Get tested even if you don’t have symptoms and even if you have had one or both jabs
– Comply with the legal requirement to self-isolate if you have symptoms or test positive. There is financial support available for eligible people.
– Stay at home if unwell, to reduce the risk of passing on other illnesses onto friends, family, colleagues, and others in your community
– Step up your COVID-19 safety: Meet in well-ventilated areas where possible, such as outdoors or indoors with windows open and keep thinking hands, face and space
Cllr Steve Darling, Leader of Torbay Council said: “Our residents and business communities have worked incredibly hard to keep cases low here in Torbay since the start of the pandemic and I am confident they will rise to the challenge again.
“With two members of my own family working in our local NHS I understand the pressure our NHS is facing and how much this is rising. I urge everyone to follow the guidance, to protect our NHS and to keep Torbay open for us all. Support continues to be available and anyone who needs help can contact the Torbay Community Helpline on 01803 446022 or visit www.torbayhelphub.com.”
Cllr Darren Cowell, Deputy leader of Torbay Council said: “Businesses and other services will continue to be disrupted until we get cases down here in the Bay. The pandemic has had a crippling effect on so many of our businesses and we all need to help them turn a corner.
“We remain open and welcoming to responsible visitors and urge our residents to also be responsible. Please get a test before you travel and do not travel if you are positive or have symptoms. Anyone who tests positive or develops symptoms while visiting should get a test immediately and self-isolate if still legally required to.”
Dr Lincoln Sargeant, Director of Public Health, Torbay Council said: “I welcome national support to help get our cases down to a manageable level. It is with regret but absolute necessity that I ask people to immediately step up their COVID-19 safety and vigilance.
“Vaccination, testing and self-isolation are critical to getting our cases down to protect lives and our NHS. Please ensure you are double vaccinated as soon as possible, while one jab offers some protection both vaccinations provide the maximum protection.”
Torbay Council are working closely with local partners, Public Health England and the Department of Health and Social Care to monitor the situation and establish what additional support may be needed to bring cases under control.
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