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.
Published: 8 December 2020
There’s no doubt that this festive season will be like no other, and we will all have to celebrate differently this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It may not be the Christmas we had planned or hoped for, but while some families will be getting together, we must all make sure that we continue to make the right choices and do not drop our guard. Please follow the guidelines and take precautions to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe this Christmas. We’ve created this email to round-up the various information, advice, guidance and restrictions for the Christmas period to help you enjoy it as as safely as possible.
Published: 4 December 2020
Positive coronavirus cases are continuing to fall across Devon. They’ve fallen by a third, since the peak of the virus two weeks ago. Cases are slightly higher in East and Mid Devon, but the overall fall is in line with the national trend. But while cases have fallen in most age groups, they’ve risen in people aged over 80 years old.
Published: 26 November 2020
When this period of national lockdown ends on Wednesday 2 December the government will re-introduce local restriction tiers. These are different levels of restriction that will apply to different parts of the country, depending how prevalent coronavirus is and how rapidly it is spreading. It’s similar to the system we had before, but the tiers have been strengthened in order to try and prevent the sharper increase in the rate of infections, which led to the second national lockdown. There are three tiers of local restrictions, and the government has decided that Devon is in ‘Tier 2: High Alert’, subject to parliamentary approval. We’ve put together some information in this email about why that is and what it means we can and can’t do when lockdown ends on Wednesday 2 December.
Published: 20 November 2020
Steve Brown, the Director of Public Health Devon (Designate) made a fresh plea this week. He acknowledges some of the positive things happening right now, but asks that we all keep our wits about us as coronavirus case numbers continue to rise in Devon. He said: “There’s lots to be optimistic about right now, which is great. But we mustn’t let it become a distraction from the task in hand – to stop the spread of coronavirus. We may be feeling like we’re in the final chapter of this pandemic, but I wouldn’t be doing my job as Director of Public Health if I were not to inject a strong measure of caution with a dose of cold facts. Case numbers in Devon are still rising, especially in the working age population. My plea to you is that we must not let our enthusiasm to return to normal actually set us further back.
Published: 13 November 2020
News this week of a vaccine becoming available was welcomed by Dr Virginia Pearson, Director of Public Health Devon, but she advises caution. “It’s exceptionally good news,” she said, “but it is still early days, and while the announcement is tremendously positive, there is still a lot of work to do nationally before a programme of mass vaccination is possible. “The NHS is currently putting in place plans to deliver a COVID vaccine to priority groups. “While the announcement this week is positive, it is absolutely vital that we do not take this as a green light to relax our efforts in halting the spread of coronavirus. It is imperative that we continue to make every effort to follow the national public health advice, to the letter. That means, maintaining social distance, wearing face coverings when out and in enclosed spaces where social distancing is difficult, and washing our hands properly and regularly.
Published: 6 November 2020
When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), and in doing so protect the NHS and save lives. That’s why new national lockdown restrictions now apply in England, including staying at home, not gathering with people you don’t live with and closing certain businesses. Earlier this week, Dr Virginia Pearson, Director for Public Health Devon, urged everyone to ‘act now to stop the virus in its tracks’ and help prevent local health services being overwhelmed this winter. “Local people and businesses made huge sacrifices during the first lockdown and this really helped to keep the number of COVID-19 cases and related deaths down in the county,” she said.
Published: 2 November 2020
The Prime Minister made an announcement at the weekend, signalling the need for a second period of national lockdown in England. Parliament will debate and vote on the measures this week, and if passed, they will come into force on Thursday 5 November, and remain in place until Wednesday 2 December.
Published: 30 October 2020
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic is continuing to put a huge financial strain on some people. Employment situations are changing rapidly and for some their income now no longer covers what they need, or they have lost their jobs completely. Help is available. If you, or someone you know, is worrying about money and how to pay for basic household essentials, please apply for extra assistance through funding that we have made available via your district council’s hardship fund.
Published: 22 October 2020
Council Leaders from across the region have published a joint message this week; “Coronavirus doesn’t take a break – please respect and protect local communities.” It’s a message for anyone thinking of coming to or travelling in and around the south west this half-term. And it echoes the tone of a new social media campaign across the region that is specifically targeting people coming to the region.