Published: 26 February 2021
People’s attitude towards coronavirus, and the parts we all play in getting through this pandemic, are changing as we look ahead to a time without restrictions. The vaccine roll out to priority groups is helping people see a way out of the pandemic, and a return to normality. But please remember we’re not there yet. Steve Brown, Director of Public Health Devon, is concerned that people are thinking measures like local community testing are no longer necessary, when they really are still vital.
Published: 23 February 2021
The Prime Minister has announced a 4-step plan to ease lockdown in England. The news has been met with a cautious welcome by Steve Brown, Devon’s Director of Public Health. He said: “While all of us look forward to a relaxation of the national regulations, it’s vital that we continue to exercise caution. “COVID-19 is an extremely infectious virus, and is still very much present in the community. Cases in Devon have remained relatively low compared to elsewhere in the country and we do not want to see cases rising again.”
Published: 19 February 2021
Cases of COVID-19 are generally continuing to fall across Devon, but that decline has slowed and we are seeing a levelling off of numbers. Rates are currently highest among the 20 to 39 year old age group. This week we set our budget for the next financial year, with more money for those who have been most badly effected by the coronavirus pandemic. We want to support the most disadvantaged and some 73 per cent of the budget spend is on the most vulnerable. We’ve not only been thinking about the short-term pandemic but the longer term issues as well, in addition to how we are going to lead the economic recovery in Devon.
Published: 12 February 2021
Devon has the lowest case rates of all upper tier council authorities in the country, with six of the county’s eight District areas among those with fewest cases of coronavirus. While that is good news, Steve Brown, Director of Public Health Devon, says it is too soon for celebration.
Published: 4 February 2021
We’re launching a community testing programme to identify people with coronavirus (COVID-19) who are not showing any symptoms, and who are not already accessing regular testing. It’s using the rapid tests that give results in around 30 minutes. Tests are aimed particularly at critical workers and those in high-risk occupations who have to leave home to attend work, such as taxi and bus drivers or retail workers. They are also for people who are in contact with others who are vulnerable, such as carers. The testing is to identify any such people with the virus, so that they can be asked to self-isolate immediately, to prevent others from catching it.
Published: 29 January 2021
This week Mr Brown described his concerns about the numbers of people testing positive in care homes, and of continuing pressure on hospitals. And while the NHS vaccination programme is going well, with more venues opening up to vaccinate more people, he says it’s important that we do not think that once we’ve had the vaccine, we can go about like normal. It’s essential that everyone, even including those who have received their first jab, continues to adhere to the lockdown rules to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Continue to social distance, wear face coverings when in public spaces, and wash hands properly and regularly. And if you are instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, you must do so.”
Published: 21 January 2021
“Hope is on the horizon but for now, please stay home as much as you can and be extra careful when you need to go out”, says Steve Brown, Devon’s Director of Public Health. Every GP practice in Devon offering appointments to eligible patients as four more centres open their doors. New codeword scheme (Ask for ANI) launched to help combat domestic abuse. Every Mind Matters: Make inside feel better. Adopt South West shared a poem called ‘They say the world is closed today’, which was sent to them by a mum of two young adopted children, in the hope that it helps lift people’s spirits during this current lockdown.
Published: 14 January 2021
Devon’s Director of Public Health, Steve Brown, has called on us all to be extra vigilant in following the Government’s COVID-19 lockdown rules, and to “think twice” before we leave our homes. The new Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine was given to the first people in Devon last week, with thousands more doses expected to be administered in the coming days and weeks. Trading Standards is warning the public to be on their guard following reports that fraudsters are sending out fake texts offering a COVID-19 vaccine in an attempt to steal bank details.
Published: 6 January 2021
Devon County Council stands ready to help those who are most badly affected by the latest lockdown, council Leader John Hart has declared. And he appealed to everyone in the county to abide by the rules and defeat the latest virulent strain of the virus. Mr Hart said the arrangements that had been made during the first two lockdowns were already in place to support the vulnerable and elderly.
Published: 23 December 2020
Rising case numbers likely to continue unless further restrictions are put in place; The Leader of Devon County Council and Chairman of the county’s Local Outbreak Engagement Board, Cllr John Hart says a huge thank you to the people of Devon and pledges to do everything he can to support Devon’s local businesses, especially those in the tourism and hospitality industries.