Month: August 2021

Covid Watch 158: Covid infection rates stabilise in Shropshire and across England

The second peak of the third wave of infections in Shropshire looks to have stabilised and may even be falling. In the Shrewsbury area, the infection rates remain higher than those of the second wave – around 25% higher than they were during January. In Ludlow, infection rates have grown to the level they reached during the second wave and the latest data for seven days ago suggests rates are still rising. Research has shown that the now dominant Delta variant leads to higher hospital admission or emergency care attendance risk for patients compared with the alpha variant. The main spread of the virus is among young unvaccinated people and the older age group have a high degree of protection from vaccination. That means that deaths in which Covid-19 is a cause are much lower than they were in the first and second waves.

Ludlow and other towns open for donations for Afghan refugees

Across the county, collections points have opened for donations of clothing and other items for Afghan refugees. Locally, Nicola North has once again stepped up to help with the latest refugee crisis. You can drop donations at Sheet Farm, Sheet Road, Ludlow SY8 4JT. Please contact Nicola beforehand for advice where to drop your donations (01584 878528) or contact her on Facebook or Messenger. A list of items needed is below, along with other drop off points across Shropshire.

Urgent call for properties in Ludlow to house Afghan refugees (updated)

Shropshire Council has joined more than 100 councils across the UK that have informed the government it will accept refugees from the current crisis and support them. Shropshire has a good track record in rehousing refugees. This crisis, like so many others, has moved so many of us to tears. Even more so with yesterday’s events at the gates of Kabul International Airport. The arrival of refugees is not a tomorrow crisis. It is a today crisis. The first refugees have arrived in the UK and thousands more will continue to arrive for days, perhaps for weeks. One of the first cohorts arrived in Hertfordshire and the local community reaction has been inspiring. What we need now is housing. It is a good deal for landlords. The government covers costs and the refuges get state support. However, offers of single rooms and shared accommodation are ruled out. Given the pressure on social housing only private lets have been previously considered but this time the council is asking its arm’s length housing association STAR to look for housing.

Covid Watch 157: Twin peaks in third wave as cases continue to rise in Shropshire – testing is vital to bring infections down

We saw twin peaks of during the second wave of Covid-19 infection. The first came in November after perhaps too much socialising and eating out over the summer. The second in December as infection rates soared to the highest level reported, helped by the Christmas relaxations. The vaccination drive, which went better than many could have hoped, soon brought infection rates tumbling down. But as lockdown restrictions were eased, rates shot up and the third wave was upon us. The first peak was over by the end of July but if we thought that was the end of the third wave it was an illusion. We are now in the second peak of the third wave in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin. The picture across England is different with a recent levelling out of cases. Meanwhile, I urge people to recognise that we can still catch and transmit the virus even if we have been double vaccinated like me. My PCR result was through yesterday. Positive. I’m fine. Just isolated.

Talking BMX and skateboarding for Ludlow

We councillors are very conscious that the mental health and wellbeing of young people has suffered during the pandemic and its lockdowns. Some services and facilities were closed or in limited use. There was support online but it is not the same as face to face engagement. We intend to resume Ludlow Young Health drop in sessions later in the year. But, post-Olympics, we also need to look at sporting facilities for young people in Ludlow. People should not have to drive 30 miles to access decent facilities.

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