Published: 23 March 2021
On this day last year, when national lockdown restrictions were introduced and we were all told to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives, none of us expected that 12 months later we would still be living with coronavirus. We have learned a lot about ourselves this year, and a lot of good things have come from the changes we have had to make in our lives. If 2020 was a year we’d rather scratch from the calendar, then this year let’s try to keep hold of the many good things that we’ve learned, about our ability to adapt and to look out for each other, our families, neighbours and friends.
Published: 19 March 2021
Steve Brown, Director of Public Health Devon responded to questions this week following outbreaks of coronavirus in two East Devon care homes. Asked whether outbreaks like these can happen again, he said: “We are going to continue to get small outbreaks in settings such as care homes, workplaces and schools. But whenever we get an outbreak, the response is quick and swift.
Published: 12 March 2021
Cases of coronavirus in Devon may still be low in comparison to the rest of the country, but we’re still seeing outbreaks in some settings, including in a small number of care homes, warns Steve Brown, Director of Public Health Devon. He cited two care homes this week in East Devon: “We are working very closely with those homes to make sure residents and staff are safe, to control the outbreaks, and to reduce the risk of further transmission. Coronavirus is still a very infectious virus, and cases like this are a reminder of how important it is for us still to remain vigilant and to take every precaution to prevent its further spread.”
Published: 5 March 2021
Regular testing for coronavirus is going to be the cornerstone of our transition back to normal life, Steve Brown, Director of Public Health Devon, has declared. With schools and colleges opening up again, and restrictions set to gradually ease over coming weeks and months – subject to the latest data at the time – testing is going to be a vital part of keeping the spread of coronavirus under control.
Published: 4 March 2021
All pupils in Devon can return to school and college for face-to-face teaching from next week as the government’s four-step plan to ease lockdown gets underway. We know some people will be feeling anxious, but please feel reassured that our schools are experienced at managing risk and are well practiced at keeping staff, children and their families safe in line with COVID-19 guidelines. We’ve gathered some useful information and resources in this email to help you and your child prepare for next week, including what safety measures will be in place and how to support your child’s mental health.
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.