Herefordshire continues to see a fall in positive tests, at approximately 1 new case each day. Numbers of suspected Covid-19 cases presenting to GP practices in the county this week are in single figures, for the first time since March. This is further progress, and reflects how responsible people have been in abiding by the rules.
The challenge now is to keep these numbers as low as possible while restoring the activity in our community. Government advice on Sunday to slightly relax shielding for those most vulnerable to Covid was unexpected, partly as new cases nationally are at similar levels to when shielding was introduced.
Caution is still crucial, as many countries have seen a peak following schools and businesses opening up further. Health professionals will be watching closely for any clusters of symptoms.
Loss of smell is a common symptom of Covid-19, along with a fever and / or a dry cough. Anyone with new symptoms should isolate for at least a week. There is evidence that isolating for up to 2 weeks helps to reduce spread.
Many people are using face coverings when out. Face coverings are more likely to protect others than oneself, but this is still very worthwhile, and by reducing spread there are benefits to all.
The most effective things we can do to reduce the spread of Covid-19 remain hand washing and social distancing. While we can now meet more freely outdoors, it remains important that distance is maintained between members of different households.
Ross Community Development Trust
South Herefordshire NHS Primary Care Network