As autumn arrives, we also move into the season of coughs and colds. These typically start the week before schools go back with people returning from their holidays, peaking after Christmas. This is particularly pertinent this year, as we need to identify cases of coronavirus, whose symptoms can overlap with those of a cold.
The best strategy to contain the virus is to be testing widely and regularly, and it is frustrating that many people have been unable to access testing recently. It is not yet clear why the company running the testing arrangements has been unable to keep up with this predictable rise in demand.
Children’s education is of the utmost importance, and locally, schools have made significant changes to enable children to return to school safely. Current guidance is that children with a high temperature, continuous cough or loss of sense of smell should isolate along with household members and seek a coronavirus test.
Covid-19 has had a significant impact on our lives. GP practices have been open and working throughout the pandemic, seeing patients face to face when needed, but we have had to work in new ways to protect our patients and staff. We are trying hard to catch up on more routine work such as screening and prevention while maintaining essential services. Flu season is also coming up and we need to get as many people as possible protected, so please do have your flu jab if you are entitled to one.
We can, and will, get things nearer to normal again – but to do so means working together and following guidance. Face coverings and masks are effective in reducing the spread of the infection, so please wear one whenever around people from other households and in shared buildings. Finally, it is crucial to isolate if you have symptoms to avoid putting others at risk, so do follow the guidelines. Be prepared to stay at home if needed, ensuring you have sufficient food and medicines.
Anyone having to isolate or shield will be able to access food and medication deliveries – for assistance, please ring the Ross Good Neighbours Scheme (RGNS) message line on 01989 313002 and someone will call you back.
Ross Community Development Trust
Dr Simon Lennane, PCN Clinical Director