Health boss reassures residents over Bassetlaw's Covid rate - almost TRIPLE the national average
Nottinghamshire’s health boss has made a move to reassure residents after Covid rates in Bassetlaw were found to be almost triple the national average.
Johnathan Gribbin, Nottinghamshire’s director for Public Health, said he was ‘confident’ Bassetlaw residents would work together to help bring down the infection rate which currently stands at 127 per 100,000 people- the national average is 46.
Speaking to the Guardian, he said: “Firstly, I want to underline my thanks to the people of Bassetlaw for doing their bit across both households and workplaces to decrease the rate, which a month or so ago was around 200.
"With that reduction in cases we’ve seen an easing of pressure on both the NHS and care homes in the district.
"But the it's nonetheless true that rates in Bassetlaw and across Nottinghamshire are above the national average."
Commenting on speculation that the spike in rates could be due to an outbreak at a prison or care home in the district, Mr Gribbin said: “The current rate is not attributable to any setting on its own.
"As ever we’re seeing a mix of tranmission in households, workplaces and on some occasions where people are socialise outside of their working environment.
"We do see some transmission in care homes but the virus is very easily spread and it doesn’t mean the care home or employers are at fault.
"What we do know is that the new dominant strain in the virus is spread in the same way as the previous dominant variant.
“So my message to the people of Bassetlaw is to keep going with existing measures such as hand washing, masks and social distancing.
"If you have any symptoms of the virus, you must isolate immediately and get tested as soon as possible.
"We also want to encourage twice-weekly testing for people working outside the home. This could involve a conversation with your employer, registering your interest with the Government for weekly testing as an employer or sending employees to one of our community testing sites.”
Mr Gribbin said he was ‘encouraged’ that more than 95 per cent of over 70s in Nottinghamshire had taken up the offer of the vaccine.
But he added: “We’re seeing a small amount of people who haven’t taken up the opportunity yet and it’s really important they do.
"What I’d say to anyone with concerns is that millions of people benefit from the protection vaccines and immunisations provide, as the UK is underpinned by a rigorous process to ensure they’re both effective and safe.
"I’m looking forward to hearing from UK regulators along with the World Health Organisation over the coming days who I feel will be able to provide further information which will reasssure anyone with concerns.
“It’s important to remember we’re only at ‘step one’ of the Government roadmap to bring us out of lockdown.
"But when I look back at how hard the people of Bassetlaw and Nottinghamshire have worked over the past year, I’m confident they will want to complete what they started and follow through until the lockdown is lifted.”