Rates in the south west Shropshire remain low but are stubbornly refusing to fall due to an outbreak in a Bishop’s Castle care home and a small rise in cases in Ludlow.

Across England, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin there is a steep decline in positive tests for Covid-19. But locally we still have a little way to go. The accelerating pace of the vaccination programme, the huge efforts by our GPs, health professionals and volunteers, and the abundance of caution that most people are displaying will get us there.

Let’s not miss the good news. The government met its target to invite the top four cohorts for vaccination by 15 February. That was an extraordinary effort by health managers, GPs, health workers and volunteers. The rollout was later here in rural Shropshire than in other areas. That will have led to health consequences for people who have not been vaccinated as quickly as they could have been. But the future looks brighter with Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock promising all adults will be jabbed by the end of July.

Locally, the reduction in Covid-19 infection remains behind the national trend. Of local concern is an outbreak at a Bishop’s Castle care home. Shropshire Council and the Quality Care Council are currently working with the care home which has been flagged as requiring improvement on safety and management.

Rates are up in Ludlow too.

With the accelerating pace of vaccination rollout, the tide is turning. But it is too soon to abandon caution. I wish it were otherwise.

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