Call to continue acting responsibly as city records highest ever rate
Sunderland's Director of Public Health is calling on people to continue acting responsibly and to get double jabbed following the Government decision to move to step 4 of the roadmap.
In a week which has seen Sunderland recording its highest ever infection rates, with a current rate of 966 per 100,000, Gerry Taylor, Executive Director of Public Health and Integrated Commissioning also urged people to carry on doing many of the things they have been doing for the last year to keep each other safe.
Speaking in her latest video to Sunderland residents, Gerry said: "Earlier this week the government confirmed that Step 4 in the Roadmap will go ahead on Monday 19 July, bringing to an end the majority of legal restrictions in England. The changes mean we will move to a situation where we must all learn to live alongside the virus as safely as possible.
"As the Prime Minister emphasised, while most legal restrictions are being lifted, this is not a return to normality and we must continue to exercise a great deal of caution as we move forward.
Locally we are now seeing infection rates at the highest level we have ever recorded and I would encourage you to continue to keep doing the things that have become second nature over the past year. Keep washing your hands, wearing face coverings in public places, think about meeting outside and keeping your distance.
"We know that Covid can affect anyone and even if you are not worried about yourself, these simple actions we have all become so used to will help protect others - on the bus, in shops, in hospitality and entertainment venues and at work.
Thankfully, the numbers of people in our hospital is not as high as previously but they are increasing and we can't be complacent. Covid can still make people very ill and people who are unvaccinated are at a much higher risk
"We also know that Long Covid, which can be debilitating, affects not just those with underlying health issues, but also people who were previously fit and healthy.
"We know for everyone over 18, our best protection from serious illness as a result of Covid is being double vaccinated - whatever your age or health status. And the evidence shows this greatly reduces your chances of being admitted to hospital.
"If you already have an appointment for a vaccination, please attend. If you can't make it for whatever reason, please amend or cancel so the appointment can be used by someone else.
"If you haven't booked yet, do it today, either online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling your GP. Or you can go into one of the walk in clinics we've got open across the city. Keep an eye on our social media channels for more information.
Gerry also urged people to continue regular testing if they don't have symptoms and to self-isolate and book a PCR test if they do, however mild these are.
She said: "We know that the virus spreads when we have contact with others so we can also help to stop it by continuing to test and self-isolate when we need to. Take regular tests when you feel well and isolate and get a PCR test if you have any symptoms, even if they are very mild.
"We are at an important cross-roads in the pandemic, and just because we will soon have newfound freedoms, doesn't mean throwing caution to the wind is the right thing to do. It's important to move forward, but we must do so with caution.
"I know our community is tolerant, patient and kind, and will support each other through this next phase."
Gerry's video is available to view here: https://youtu.be/_KErFbQknko