Page last updated: 5 January, 2021, 2:04pm
Coronavirus (COVID-19) update – Tuesday 5 January 2021
Prime Minister’s announcement
Last night, the Prime Minister announced a national lockdown and instructed people to stay at home to control the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.
The decision follows a rapid rise in infections, hospital admissions and case rates across the country. From today (Tuesday 5 January), people can only leave their homes for the following reasons:
· Shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person.
· Go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home.
· Exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
· Meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one.
· Seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse).
· Attend education or childcare – for those eligible.
All primary schools, secondary schools and colleges have moved to remote learning, except for the children of key workers and vulnerable children.
The government is also advising the clinically extremely vulnerable to begin shielding again, and letters will be sent to individuals with advice on what this means for them.
Restrictions are expected to last until the middle of February if the situation in hospitals improve. By this point, the NHS hopes to have vaccinated everyone in the top four priority groups including older care home residents and staff, everyone over 70, all frontline NHS and care staff and all those who are clinically extremely vulnerable. The full details on what you can and cannot do are available here.
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of a national lockdown and the increasing cases of the new variant of COVID-19, we have reviewed our visiting arrangements and made the very difficult decision to implement stricter restrictions from tomorrow (6 January).
Face-to-face visits should now only be offered in exceptional circumstances and on an individual basis. They must also be agreed by the senior clinical teams.
Our visiting principles are available on the Trust intranet site and provide further guidance for individual areas.
Living by our values
We recognise the pressures that staff continue to work under and are very grateful for the dedication everyone has shown throughout this pandemic.
The challenges of maintaining our hospital and community services, alongside caring for patients with COVID-19, are constant so it is vitally important that we look after each other and pay attention to how everyone in the team is doing.
Inevitably, moods and morale will dip but everyone has felt the pressures of this pandemic, whatever job they do in the Trust. Let’s continue to be courteous and kind to each other whether you are working on the wards, across our support services or are contacted directly by our Test and Trace and vaccination teams.
Some colleagues have raised concerns about why certain staff members have received their COVID-19 vaccination while others haven’t and we would ask you to note the following points:
- Not all risk factors are outwardly visible
- Our staff have the right to confidentiality just as patients do, and therefore you might not know the private health issues of even your closest colleagues
- Younger people and non-BAME people may have risk factors
We would ask that any staff who believe they are clinically extremely vulnerable or in an at risk group but who have not received an COVID-19 vaccine invitation by email, to speak to their line manager.
Can we remind you that the self-testing kits are for staff who are asymptomatic (not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19). If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 you should book a test through our pod. Further information is on our self-testing page and on the coronavirus intranet site.
Thank you for your ongoing support
Executive Control Group