A message from Krishna Ramkhelawon: Southend Borough Council Director of Public Health
With coronavirus cases rising, we are reminding residents of the importance of social distancing and urging those with symptoms to stop the spread by self- isolating and booking a test.
Last week 60 cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Southend-on-Sea and our weekly rate is currently 34.4 cases per 100,000 people. This is slightly above the East of England average, and around four times what it was four weeks ago.
In recent weeks we have seen a rise in confirmed cases across the country, across Essex and across Southend-on-Sea. Most of these are attributed to people not following the public health advice, including not self-isolating.
With additional testing in place this was predicted and although our rate is not currently rising as quickly as some other areas, we must remember that Coronavirus is still with us and we must continue to be vigilant and follow national guidance.
It is extremely important that we all maintain social distancing by keeping at least two metres from others, maintain good hand-washing, wear face coverings and adhere to the 'rule of six.'
This is even more important now that schools have restarted and I urge parents to socially distance at the school gates and young people not to congregate in groups before and after school too. I know this is difficult but please do try and help our communities to stay safe.
Symptoms and self-isolation
Knowing what to do if you have symptoms is also key to stopping the spread.
If you have any symptoms, it is crucial that you self-isolate. Get tested as soon as possible, and isolate until you know the result.
Please do not be put off of requesting a test if you have symptoms and please do so as soon as possible. There is support in place for those on low incomes.
If you are contacted by the test and trace system
You must also self-isolate if you are told to by the national test and trace system. In this scenario, you must do so for the full period regardless of whether you have symptoms or not, or whether you receive a negative test result or not. This period will be 10 or 14 days depending on the circumstances. Due to the incubation period of this disease which can be up to 14 days, you must self isolate for the period advised.
To be clear, even if you don’t have symptoms or even if you get a negative test result, you must still continue to self-isolate for the full period advised if you have been contacted through the test and trace system. Please follow this and national advice. If people don’t, we will continue to see cases rise, spread and reach people who are more vulnerable in our communities, leading to more severe illness and deaths in our community.
Please take care and stay safe, Krishna Ramkhelawon, Director of Public Health Southend-on-Sea Borough Council