Health, police, council and other district leaders have joined forces to urge residents to remain vigilant and cautious as COVID-19 restrictions ease from Monday 19 July. COVID-19 has not gone away and case numbers are still high and rising rapidly. This is having an impact on a number of service, in particular across the NHS but also for some council and community and voluntary services when people need to self-isolate.
The joint message has been issued by Bradford Wellbeing Board partners, which includes Helen Hirst, Chief Officer at NHS Bradford District and Craven CCG; Daniel Greenwood, Chief Superintendent, West Yorkshire Police; Sandy Needham, Chief Executive of the West and North Yorkshire Chamber; Kersten England, Chief Executive of Bradford Council and Sarah Muckle, The Director of Public Health. They say:
“While opening up on the 19 July brings freedom for many and a boost for businesses, our message is clear – COVID-19 has not gone away.
“Many people are still feeling anxious about the virus and the lifting of these restrictions, including those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
“We need to protect our community, our services and our staff and we will be insisting that people who use our services follow the five steps and continue to wear a mask.
“To keep everyone safe, people are being asked to take five sensible steps to keep infections as low as possible and take the pressure of our hospitals and our front line services.
“These steps are:
- To get both doses of the vaccine;
- To continue to wear a mask;
- To get tested and isolate if you are unwell;
- To mix outside if possible or let the air in if indoors; and most importantly
- To give others space.
“Above all, we’re asking everyone to make sure they get the vaccine when they are able for you, for your loved ones and for everyone else in our district. The vaccine offers the best protection against the virus and will help us to avoid increases in infections and the risks of deaths and further restrictions.
“We want to thank everyone for sticking to the restrictions over the past year and a half. It’s been a difficult time for everyone but we need to continue to be cautious so we stay safe and protect our communities and those who are vulnerable.”
As part of their message, leaders across the district are reminding people to get their COVID-19 vaccine, including second doses for those eligible to do so. Vaccinations offer everyone the greatest hope of keeping infection rates down and residents are being encouraged to take up the opportunity of getting the vaccine where they can. To make it easy for people to ‘Grab a Jab’ walk in vaccinations centres open across the district for anyone aged 18 and above which can be found by visiting www.bit.ly/VaccineWalkInClinic. People can still book their vaccine appointment in advance if they prefer by calling 119.
If you already have an appointment booked for a later date, you can still get a jab at a walk-in clinic but please make sure you cancel your booked appointment so someone else can use it.
All health services also continue to work under very challenging conditions with admissions still rising as well as increasing number of people going to accident and emergency units which should only be used for life or limb-threatening emergencies. Residents are being asked in the first instance to use the NHS 111 online service https://111.nhs.uk/ or call 111.