Ross-on-Wye and the surrounding villages have seen an increase in Covid-19 cases in the last few weeks, with small clusters affecting schools and local businesses. Herefordshire has so far escaped the worst of Covid, and if we all do the right thing, we can keep cases low.
While testing is an important part of a pandemic response, there is little point doing a test if the result isn’t acted on. If you have possible symptoms of Covid-19 (new cough, fever or loss of sense of smell or taste) it is crucial that you keep away from others, even while waiting for a test. This is how we will break the chain of transmission. A new law means people breaking isolation can be fined up to £10,000.
As we head into a second lockdown, we are much better placed this time around. As before, healthcare services remain open, though many more contacts are by phone or video rather than face to face. GP surgeries will continue to do as much routine work as possible, as well as managing coronavirus cases and other essential services. Keeping yourself well is the most helpful way you can support the NHS.
We now know much more about Covid-19, and how it is spread. We know that masks reduce transmission, and widespread use of masks and face coverings has been hugely helpful in protecting our community. We also now know how important adequate ventilation is, changing circulating air regularly to reduce viral exposure.
A further lockdown will be hard on all of us, and while it is disappointing to be in this position again, we are very fortunate to have a strong voluntary sector providing support for those who need it. This will be a difficult winter, but if we can replicate the huge community effort in Ross we saw in the spring, we will be able to protect and support each other.
Anyone having to isolate or shield will be able to access food and medication deliveries – for assistance, please ring the Ross Good Neighbours’ Helpline on 01989 313002 and someone will call you back or email firstname.lastname@example.org.