PEOPLE are being asked to consider if it is really essential they go out after figures revealed Worcestershire now has more cases of Covid-19 than it has at any other time during the pandemic.
The county council said, with Bromsgrove, Redditch and Worcester City in particular having high numbers of positive cases, pressure was being put on local NHS services and risking the lives of our most vulnerable and elderly residents.
Confirmed cases in the week ending January 9
Worcester – 769 per 100,ooo
Bromsgrove – 655 per 100,000
Redditch – 613 per 100,000
Wychavon – 525 per 100,000
Malvern – 300 per 100,000
In comparison, Birmingham has 778 per 100,000 and the average rate for England is 526.
Worcestershire’s Director of Public Health Dr Kathryn Cobain added everyone should question if they really need to be out because ‘every infection with someone else was a risk’.
“We are seeing the number of infections continue to rise, and our data tells us this is through community mixing. So, the key thing, right now is to minimise the number of unnecessary contacts we have.
“Ask yourself is it necessary for you to leave your home. Do you really need to go out?
“Every time we mix we are creating a serious risk, because we could be passing the virus on, and eventually that could reach someone who will become seriously ill.
“Instead, ask yourself is there an alternative available. The individual choices we make really do make a difference.”
When people did have to go out she urged them to follow the rules, stay two metres apart, wear a face covering properly over the nose and mouth and wash their hands as soon as they returned home.
“If you act like you have the virus, and act like everyone else has it too, you are going to really help reduce the risk of this virus spreading”
The rising numbers of cases are causing concern for health services and NHS colleagues who are working relentlessly to offer care for those most seriously affected by the virus.
Mike Hallissey, Chief Medical Officer at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, added: “The message is very clear – Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives.
“I would ask that everyone in our local communities sticks to the rules and only leaves home if absolutely necessary.
“Our doctors, nurses and healthcare staff are working long hours in very difficult circumstances to care for growing numbers of seriously ill patients.
“The number of patients with Covid in our hospitals is now significantly higher than it was during the first wave of the pandemic.
“We have had to expand our intensive care facilities at both the Alexandra and Worcestershire Royal Hospitals to deal with the sickest patients, and colleagues from other wards and departments have stepped in to support our intensive care teams.
“Despite all their efforts, sadly, we are seeing patients die every day of as a result of Covid-19 infection.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel with the roll out of the vaccine though the impact of this will only be seen as the numbers who have received it rise over the months ahead. Therefore, it is even more important than ever to reduce the spread of infection and preventing avoidable deaths must be everyone’s top priority.”
Anyone needing help or support during the lockdown should visit worcestershire.gov.uk/here2help