How Calderdale is preparing to fight off Omicron

Calderdale residents are once again being urged to get jabbed and wear masks as the country tries to fend off a new strain of Covid-19.

By sarah fitton
Thursday, 16th December 2021, 10:29 am
Updated Thursday, 16th December 2021, 10:30 am
Walk-in vaccination sessions are being held in Calderdale.
Walk-in vaccination sessions are being held in Calderdale.

The Government’s ‘Plan B’ includes new self-isolation rules, mandatory vaccination passports, working from home and the expansion of compulsory face coverings in a bid to reduce the impact of the Omicron variant.

There is also a massive vaccination push underway, with every adult being urged to make sure they have not just had both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, but a booster jab as well.

Calderdale Council’s Director for Public Health, Debs Harkins, said: “Wearing a face covering really works in reducing the way the virus spreads when we talk, cough and sneeze.

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"Boosting immunity through vaccination is a really important way to prevent serious illness from COVID-19, so the vaccine programme has been expanded and accelerated to include a booster for everyone aged over 18 and second vaccine doses to children and young people aged 12 to 15 years."

For Calderdale’s schools, this term has already been tough and there is now added uncertainty over what they will face when they return from the Christmas holidays in January.

Headteacher of The Halifax Academy, Matt Perry, said they are starting to see a rise in the number of staff and students off, and are having to prepare for all eventualities.

Schools are used to spinning on a sixpence and making new plans,” he said.

“I hope we’re back in January. The children need to be in school and staff need to be in school.”

Among the businesses impacted most by the new rules are nightclubs, who are now legally required to check the Covid status of customers before letting them inside.

A spokesperson for Halifax’s Acapulco said: “We are opening the nightclub earlier, with extra staff in place to help assist our customers gain entry.

"Our thought is that if the scientists are advising our Government that this new Omicron variant could overwhelm the NHS again with potentially more hospital admissions, then we need to follow the Government guidelines, and try not to find any loopholes like some other companies have done previously by changing their business category from nightclub to night pub/restaurant."

To find out where you can get a Covid-19 vaccine or booster jab at walk-in sessions, visit https://www.calderdaleccg.nhs.uk/grabajab/