Category: Covid-19

Covid Watch 159: Infections in Ludlow, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin high and not falling

There is already talk of reintroduction of social mixing restrictions over the winter because Covid-19 infections rates are not falling. There could be announcement within the next few days on contingency plans should the NHS become overwhelmed with the twin pressures of flu and Covid. We are far from getting infection rates reduced. Infection rates have stopped falling in Shropshire and have been climbing in Telford & Wrekin. Across England, around 225 people per 100,000 people are testing positive each week, more than 150,000 new cases a week. In Shropshire, the infection rate is around 306, a third higher than nationally. Telford & Wrekin the rate is about 385. Here in Ludlow, the infection rate is high at 35 cases a week, an infection rate of 319 cases for 100,000 people. That is equal to the previous peak of cases in July.

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 ā€“ 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.

Covid Watch 157: Twin peaks in third wave as cases continue to rise in Shropshire ā€“ 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. Iā€™m fine. Just isolated.

Covid Watch 156: Infection rollercoaster continues as cases rise locally and nationally

Covid-19 infection rates are on the up in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin and have stopped falling across England. This was perhaps inevitable after relaxation of social distancing regulations. Social mixing  is increasing and there is growing trend for people not to wear masks in public and enclosed spaces. While infections rates are rising, there has only been a small increase in hospitalisations due to the effectiveness of the success programme. In Shropshire, 78.4% of adults have received both vaccinations, with a further 7.1% having had their first dose. In Telford & Wrekin, the equivalent figures are 81.1% and 12%. Everyone 18 or over in England is now eligible for vaccination. All 16 and 17-year-olds in England are to be offered their first coronavirus vaccine dose or the chance to book one by 23 August and will be contacted by GPs or other local NHS service.

Covid Watch 155: The third wave recedes but is the rollercoaster ride continuing?

Infection rates in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin have until recently been dropping by more than 40% a week. The rate of fall was astonishing. But in the last few days there are signs that the drop infection rate is slowing in England and may even have halted in Shropshire. Infection rates are now low. Restrictions have been eased. The government is urging people to go back to work. But vaccination rates among young people remain low. Young people are less likely to suffer serious health impacts from Covid-19 but a small number will suffer seriously from the disease. They will also spread the disease and while the disease is prevalent, the danger of new variants emerging remains high, including escape variants which are able to dodge the vaccines. We have been on a rollercoaster since March 2020. We have found ways of working with Covid-19. But the epidemic will never be over until the world is vaccinated.

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