Spring is finally here, after a winter that has felt incredibly long, with the country in lockdown and unprecedented stresses on the health service. Covid-19 rates have fallen substantially from the peak of 386 cases per 100,000 we saw in January, following the relaxation of rules over Christmas. We are now below 100 cases per 100,000 locally, but that still represents a significant number of infectious people in the county. The increased transmissibility of the new variant means we must stay cautious, but people are now far more aware of the benefits of face coverings and better ventilation.
Rapid testing kits are now more widely available and are being offered to older children to check they are safe to return to school. No test is perfectly accurate, but these ‘lateral flow devices’ give a quick result, identifying people who might be incubating the virus without realising it, helping to avoid passing it on.
The vaccination program locally has progressed quickly, now reaching people 60 and over and those with underlying health conditions. The staff and volunteers making the clinic at The Larruperz Centre such a success have shown how well we do when we act together as a community.
The local NHS will continue to roll out vaccinations as supplies become available. Second vaccinations begin this week, starting again with those over 80 and health and social care workers. Although the first vaccination gives good protection, the second boosts the immune system ensuring a better and longer lasting immune response.
Thankfully, transmission outside is rare, so as the weather gets better, now is a good time to get some exercise outdoors. Vitamin D is important to help our immune system, and the best way to raise vitamin D levels is by the action of sun on our skin. The sun is far less likely to cause sunburn at this time of year, so take the chance to get outside on fine days and enjoy the sunshine safely.
If you have any questions regarding the vaccine roll out please contact your local GP Surgery in the first instance or if you need to isolate, you can contact the Ross Good Neighbours’ Helpline on 01989 313002 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.