Published: 25 September 2020
Devon’s infection rate is still comparatively low, but the number of positive coronavirus (COVID-19) tests has risen this week, in line with the national trend. We currently have 61 cases across the whole of Devon reported in the latest data, and a little over half of those have been new cases in Exeter. These are cases linked to the University of Exeter and a number of students who have recently arrived for the start of term already with the virus and inadvertently passed it on to their housemates. They, and their households, are all self-isolating and following public health advice, and there’s no evidence at this stage of the virus spreading into the community. We’re monitoring the data closely so that we can respond immediately to changes as they arise.
Published: 18 September 2020
Dr Virginia Pearson, the Director of Public Health Devon said this week that it’s clear that there are some real issues with public access to testing via the NHS Test and Trace system across Devon, and that it is a national issue. She was commenting following release of the latest data that actually shows a big rise in the number of tests completed in the last seven days, (around 8,500), compared to the previous week (around 6,500). The number of confirmed cases in Devon have also fallen in the last week, from 54 to 26.
Published: 11 September 2020
The number of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases across England is rising. That’s true of case numbers in Devon too. The Director of Public Health Devon, Dr Virginia Pearson, has this week issued a fresh warning, urging all Devon residents – of all ages, but specifically to younger residents – to follow the public health advice at all times. The number of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Devon is still very low comparatively, but it is rising. Not all new cases are now linked to the returning international travellers, which was the pattern we had seen previously. Our younger residents – those in their late teens and early twenties – are a tricky audience to reach with public messages, so here is a personal appeal to parents and families with dependents around that age to remind them how important it is to protect themselves and others.
Published: 4 September 2020
Those of you who follow the numbers will have seen a rise in cases of coronavirus in Devon in the last two to three weeks. The numbers though are still comparatively very low compared to elsewhere in the country, and the risk of spread within communities in Devon is also still very low. The story this week is largely the same as last. During August, groups of people travelled abroad on holiday, and a some of them returned with coronavirus. They were picked up immediately by NHS Test and Trace on their return and they and their contacts advised to self-isolate. The numbers currently stand at around 30 cases in Devon, about the same last week. As those earlier returns come out of self-isolation, we’ve got equal numbers going in. With August behind us, we expect the numbers will start to fall again.
Published: 26 August 2020
The start of the academic year isn’t far away now, and all children and young people in Devon will be required to go back to school, but things will be a little different to normal this year. Why are all children going back to school? Check your return date. What safety measures will be in place? New advice on face coverings in education. Travel to school – walking and cycling. Changes to school transport. Tips to help your child prepare for school. Supporting your child’s mental health. Changes to breakfast, after school and holiday clubs. Free school meals and funding. Applying for 30 hours funded childcare.
Published: 20 August 2020
Small businesses and the tourism sector across Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay will be able to apply for grants of up to £3,000 through the Growth Support Kickstart Grant Scheme. Our Deputy Director of Public Health has issued guidance to commuters and other car sharers as they head back to work or are out and about. The second stage of the government’s Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) opened for applications earlier this week. Thousands of students across Devon got their GCSE results today – it’s been a particularly challenging year learning remotely over the last few months so you should all be proud of yourselves – well done!
Published: 13 August 2020
Coronavirus has highlighted the importance of health and social care workers more than ever, and with certain sectors experiencing workforce shortages, we’re encouraging 16 to 25-year olds in particular to consider a career in the sector. Public Health England has been looking at the wider impacts of COVID-19, and at smoking and drinking habits, physical activity, how people are spending their time and grocery purchasing behaviour. There’s help for everyone in Devon* who wants to improve their health. One Small Step Devon is a free service that gives support to people wanting to make lifestyle changes and improve their health.
Published: 7 August 2020
Temperatures are set to soar this weekend, so please make sure you take extra care and stay safe in the sunshine. During the coronavirus pandemic a heatwave is potentially even more dangerous, especially to those who are already vulnerable to the virus or are having to self-isolate at home. Hot weather means our bodies work harder to maintain an inner core temperature, putting extra strain on the heart and lungs. That extra strain, coupled with fluid and salt loss through sweating, can lead to specific heat-related health effects and illness such as dehydration and heatstroke. Overheating can also make symptoms worse for people who already have problems with their heart or breathing.
Published: 31 July 2020
With so much coverage in the national media about a potential second wave of coronavirus, we wanted to reassure you about our continued efforts in Devon to contain the virus. The number of COVID-19 cases in Devon is still very low, with no linked cases or community spread, and we want to keep it that way. In fact, Devon’s District Council areas account for four of the lowest five ‘lower tier local authorities’ in England, for confirmed coronavirus cases. They include Torridge, West Devon, South Hams and North Devon. Mid Devon, Teignbridge, East Devon and Exeter District and City Councils follow shortly after, making Devon one of the lowest ranking areas of the country for coronavirus cases.
Published: 24 July 2020
Last weekend new powers for local authorities to be able to close specific premises, cancel events and close public spaces in response to local coronavirus outbreaks came into force. There are a range of measures that can be used to halt the spread of coronavirus, and several steps that could taken before a situation requires a localised closure. However these new powers mean that we can act quickly to manage a situation if necessary, in order to prevent infection.