Plea for caution as Covid-19 rates rise

There is concern that if Covid-19 rates continue to rise at the rate that they are, hospitals will become overwhelmed again.

There is concern that if Covid-19 rates continue to rise at the rate that they are, hospitals will become overwhelmed again. (stock image) - Credit: Peter Byrne / PA

With Covid-19 rates rising sharply around Cambridgeshire, a collective plea has been raised for residents to be cautious when out and about. 

It comes as a number of hospitals are beginning to become under immense pressure, with increasing demands for urgent care. 

Leaders of public sector organisations across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are concerned that the rise in cases will affect vulnerable people and overwhelm public services. 

They [public services] are beginning to have high numbers of staff self-isolating, either because they have tested positive or they have been a close contact of someone who has. 

The increases in Covid cases requiring hospital care will also add further stress to the system. 


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There is now concern that if rates continue to rise further, it could impact the delivery of key services. 

As a result, the leaders of public sector organisations have come together to make a collective plea for people to do whatever they can to reduce transmission of Covid-19. 

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This includes: 

  • Saying yes to both doses of the vaccine - with all adults now eligible and people able to have their second dose eight weeks after the first. 

  • Taking a rapid test twice a week to identify the one in three people with Covid without symptoms. 

  • Taking a test and self-isolating if you have symptoms of Covid-19. 

  • Reducing unnecessary contact with others indoors. 

  • Meeting people outdoors or in well-ventilated places if possible. 

  • Wearing a mask in crowded places – or where you can’t keep a distance. 

  • Washing your hands thoroughly and regularly. 

Jyoti Atri, Director of Public Health for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, said: “There are steps we need to take to protect ourselves and others, whilst going back to doing the things that we enjoy. 

“For example, we can choose to meet people outdoors, especially whilst the weather is so good and wear masks in indoor spaces. 

“This is important even if you have had both does of the vaccine as there is still a chance you can carry and pass on the virus.” 

Chris Strickland, Chief Fire Officer for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Although the majority of restrictions have lifted this week, we would still urge people to exercise caution and think of others. 

“At the moment the close contact isolation rule is still in place, so this poses a real risk to our ability to have enough firefighters and control room staff to maintain our normal level of service – one positive Covid result can mean a number of staff have to isolate for 10 days. 

“This could mean a fire engine not having a crew.” 

Chief Constable of Cambridge Constabulary, Nick Dean, said: “As an organisation we are continuing to wear our masks in the workplace and complying with Covid secure measures. 

“Our officers are out dealing with members of the public, so we will try to ensure we play our part in keeping people safe. 

“Just because it is no longer the law, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do the right thing and continue to follow the guidance we are all used to.” 

Local GP, Dr Gary Howsam, said: “Covid-19 has not gone away. 

“Whilst the vaccination programme is helping the country to get back to normal, it is critically important that people come back for their second dose. 

“I would strongly urge anyone who hasn’t yet had their second vaccination, or indeed their first, to get the jab as soon as they can as we see case numbers continue to rise again locally.” 

Marcus Bailey, Chief Operating Officer at East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) said: “We would like to remind everyone that they can keep themselves safe and support the NHS by getting both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, following strict hand hygiene, continuing to socially distance and wearing masks where appropriate. 

“We encourage people to use 999 wisely, and choose the NHS service best suited for their needs.” 

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