31 August - Coronavirus update from North Devon Council

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North Devon Council Newsletter

Current information about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Devon is part of a Covid 'enhanced response area'

Enhanced covid support area

Cases of COVID-19 are rising significantly across Devon and Cornwall and the government has designated the two counties as an ‘enhanced response area’.

The south-west peninsula now home to eight of the top ten areas in England with the highest rates of infection. The figures also show that around half of all infections in England are among those under 30, with the highest rate of infection now in the 10 to 19-year-old age bracket.

This means that the government has prioritised the area for additional support to reduce case rates. It doesn’t mean another local lockdown, but it does mean that authorities across the south west have more flexibility to introduce additional public health measures (if considered necessary) to those in other parts of the country.

We all want to return to a more normal way of life, but we must all act quickly and cautiously to slow the rapid rise of COVID-19 infections in the North Devon and allow time for more people to get both vaccinations.

The wall of protection the vaccine is providing is severely weakening the link between cases, hospitalisations and deaths. If we all take this action, we can help break the chains of transmission and slow the rise in cases where possible.

How you can play your part

Lateral flow test kit
  • limiting your social contacts to stop the virus spreading 
  • meeting others outside, because that’s safer than meeting inside 
  • continuing to wear face coverings when indoors in public places 
  • washing your hands properly and regularly 
  • testing yourself regularly with rapid lateral flow device tests
  • having the COVID-19 vaccine when offered
  • self-isolating and arranging a PCR test if you show any symptoms of coronavirus or you are told to by NHS Test and Trace

Highest Covid cases are in teens and young adults

NHS Young Covid video

NHS Young Covid video

Positive cases remain mostly in the late teen and young adult age group.

Young COVID-19 patients have told their stories of battling the virus and suffering long-term debilitating effects as part of a new film encouraging people to get vaccinated. The video features several patients who experienced serious symptoms of coronavirus or developed long-COVID, as well as the doctors and frontline staff who treated them, to warn of the dangers of the virus to those who haven't had their vaccine.

It comes as young people aged 16 to 17 years old in England are being offered the vaccine, along with all at-risk people aged 12 to 15 years old, and are encouraged to take up the offer as soon as possible to build vital protection before returning to school in September.

The latest figures show that hospitals are seeing a rise in unvaccinated young adults admitted with COVID-19, with people aged 18 to 34 year olds now making up more than one in five of those admitted to hospital with the virus, which is four times higher than the pandemic peak during the winter of 2020.

Vaccines are available free of charge, and if you're over 18 years old or your 18th birthday is within the next three months, you can book an appointment through the national booking service or by ringing 119. Alternatively you can  wait to be invited for your vaccination by your GP or visit a walk-in centre without the need to book in advance.

Heading back to school

School boy wearing face mask

Schools will return from next week as planned, so please keep an eye out for messages from your children's school for further information regarding their policy on wearing masks in school while we are in a designated 'enhanced response area'. Particularly if you have secondary or college age children.

Think 111 before going to A&E


Devon's health and social care system is under extreme pressure due to high demand for services and the number of staff and patients affected by COVID-19. As a result, people are facing longer waits in emergency departments and planned procedures are being postponed.

The NHS is asking people to help by using services wisely and doing their bit to reduce the spread of COVID-19:

  • keep hospital emergency departments for emergencies. If your condition isn’t an emergency, choose a different service
  • use your local pharmacist for minor conditions such as insect bites, ear ache and skin rashes - they can provide expert advice and a fast route to medication
  • use the HANDi paediatric app for advice on common childhood illnesses
  • use NHS 111 – online or by phone if you need advice or medical treatment quickly and can’t wait to see your GP. If you need to be seen by a minor injuries unit or emergency department they can book you in
  • get vaccinated against COVID-19
  • continue to maintain social distancing, good hand hygiene and meet outside where possible to reduce the spread of the virus
  • collect friends or family members from hospital as soon as possible when they are ready to leave. It means their bed can be given to someone who needs it

Lets keep life moving graphic from NHS