Calderdale health chief says preparations are in place for 'another challenging winter'

The director of Public Health at Calderdale Council says it is making preparations for winter stay on top of COVID-19.

Friday, 24th September 2021, 9:00 am
Booster vaccines will be given to certain people in Calderdale

Ministers have been setting out what Covid controls in England could look like this autumn and winter, following either a Plan A or Plan B approach.

The autumn and winter plan states the contingency measures “should be sufficient to reverse a resurgence” but “the nature of the virus means it is not possible to give guarantees”.

The Council’s Director of Public Health, Deborah Harkins, said: “As we head into the winter months it’s important we’re all aware that COVID is still circulating within our communities and rates in Calderdale continue to be amongst the highest we’ve seen throughout the whole pandemic.

“The fantastic uptake of the vaccine in Calderdale has weakened the link between high numbers of cases and serious illness, but hasn’t broken it all together and we have had an increase in the number of COVID-19 people needing hospital care in recent weeks.

“There’s also the increased risk of seasonal viruses, such as flu, at this time of year and it’s likely we’ll see reduced levels of immunity to these illnesses due to COVID measures in place in the last cold and flu season.

“COVID is an airborne virus, so the colder weather brings greater challenges as we’re more likely to mix indoors.

“The announcement from Government set out national plans for the winter season and we’ll continue to work through the implications at a local level and respond to any subsequent changes as necessary.

“The key thing for everyone at this time is to ensure we continue to follow the five big things: Give others space, wear a mask in high-risk places, get tested and self-isolate if you have symptoms, mix outside / let air in and get both doses of the vaccine

“These actions protect the most vulnerable, those working in essential services and reduce increasing pressures on our health services.

“It’s important we keep up the kind and considerate actions as we head into what’s unfortunately likely to be another challenging winter.”