Rise in COVID-19 cases starting to impact on Calderdale health services

Rising numbers of COVID-19 cases are impacting on health services, councillors and health professionals heard.

Friday, 16th October 2020, 5:00 pm

Members of Calderdale Health and Wellbeing Board were receiving reports on how services were being by the fast-changing pandemic.

Director of Public Health for Calderdale, Debs Harkins, said unfortunately there had been increases in COVID-19 cases across the borough since the start of September.

It was now around the 250 per 100,000 mark and although it was not deteriorating as quickly as some other areas remained a serious concern.

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Calderdales Director of Public Health, Debs Harkins

“Across the borough we are finding cases in all settlements.

“It is important we all play our part, whatever the rules are, limiting contacts with other people,” she said.

It was really important people who have symptoms or have been informed they have been in contact with others who have symptoms self-isolated for the whole period of time – ten days if someone has symptoms or a positive test and 14 days for people living with, or have been in close contact with, them, said Ms Harkins.

She added there was some financial help available to do this for people who were self-isolating and those from the voluntary sector.

“Self-isolation is so important because that is how we break the chain of infection,” she said.

The case numbers were now impacting on hospitalisations and Director of Transformation and Partnerships at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, Anna Basford, prevalence of COVID-19 in the population had seen increasing numbers of patients who had tested positive being cared for by hospitals.

Currently 40 people were being treated by the trust’s hospitals as in-patients, six of then in the intensive care unit.

The increase also affected staff numbers, said Ms Basford.

She said he Trust was considering maintaining the restart of elective services but rising cases put significant pressure on keeping those services going safely.

Neil Smurthwaite, Chief Finance Officer and Deputy Chief Officer at NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group, said the support of General Practices was being sought to help with hospital discharges.