The latest weekly summary from the Director of Public Health at Essex County Council shows:
- In the week to 5th November we have seen further stabilisation of the case rate across Essex. While significant volatility at district level remains, the overall rate per 100,000 over the last three weeks has been stable, being 108 per 100 000, 100 per 100 000 and 106 per 100 000 in the most recent week
- Since Essex entered Tier 2 until now, the Essex rate per 100,000 has increased by 21% having peaked on 24thOctober, against 45% for the eastern region, over 90% in Southend and 28% in Thurrock (which was already at a higher level).
- Hospital covid occupancy across Essex has remained largely stable, 213 beds occupied now. Sadly however, we have seen continuing fatalities – now 112 since the start of October.
- Care homes remain an areas of key focus, particularly those whose residents typically have dementia. We now have four significant outbreaks, plus 42 more (since the start of October) where there were small numbers of cases.
- Schools continue to see a significant number of children having to self-isolate, and staffing capacity is an issue. However, across Essex no schools are fully closed, although two have moved to a remote learning offer, with children accessing learning from home.
- On 9th November, Essex County Council were advised that we are to be in the leading pack for mass testing roll-out, with 10,000 tests per week initially, rising to 10% of the population (approaching 150,000) in the near future. Detailed planning with partners is now underway to put all the logistics and capacity in place and a fuller briefing will be provided next week.
- Our track and trace operation is currently achieving a contact rate of somewhere between 67% and 75% – numbers are still being finalised – which places us at the top end of the regional league table. The Director of Public Health has been asked to submit the plans which will take us through 80%.
- The scale and quality of the work perceived as being undertaken in Essex has attracted the attention of the centre and we are being visited by the National Covid 19 Taskforce, which reports to No 10, this week.
- Case trend line has shown further positive divergence from that predicted when considering entry to tier two, even before the effect of lockdown comes into play. If current trends continue for the next two weeks, we would expect to be able to recommend entry back into tier one when lockdown is lifted.