SOLIHULL has been placed in Tier 4 for Covid-19 restrictions as the battles the renewed threat of coronavirus, effective from tomorrow, December 31.
In the week to December 24 there were 554 new cases of Covid-19 in Solihull, a rate of 256 per 100,000 people, an increase of 26.7 per cent compared with the previous week.
The average for England is 267.
So far this year 375 people from Solihull have died from Covid-19 and 7,625 have had a positive test result, equivalent to 3.5 per cent of the local population.
Speaking today the borough’s Director of Public Health Ruth Tennant warned there was ‘very extreme pressure’ on hospitals across the country as well as locally.
“The new variant of the virus in many parts of the country has been accelerating this but our increase is also down to more people mixing and out and about in the run-up to Christmas,” she said.
“We are particularly concerned by large increases in rates in 16 to 29 and 30 to 44 year olds during the few days before Christmas.”
She added that until the vaccination programme is fully rolled out there was no option but to act to reduce the pressure on hospitals and the number of people stricken by the disease.
“It is for this reason that we now need to take urgent action to once again bring numbers down and why Solihull has now been placed, with many other parts of the country in Tier 4,” she said.
In Tier 4:
You must not leave or be outside of their home or garden except for a specific purpose: food, medical reasons, education or work
You cannot meet others indoors, including over the New Year period, unless they live with them, or they are part of your support bubble
Outdoors, you can only meet one person from another household
Do not travel unless necessary
Work from home if you can
“The more steps we can take to stop the spread of the virus, the fewer people will be ill,” said Ms Tennant.
“This means not just following Tier 4 rules but really sticking closely with all the measures that protect us and the people we care about.”
The advice is:
Remember the symptoms: a new high temperature (you don’t need to measure this but check if you feel hot on your chest or your back), a new continuous cough or you can’t taste or smell things or they smell or taste different to usual.
If you are concerned you may have Covid, get tested. More information can be found here including how to book a test if you don’t have symptoms.
Stay at home for 10 days from the start of symptoms – even if you feel better.
Self-isolate for 10 days if you are told to by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app. This is a legal requirement for people who are a close contact of cases and stops the virus spreading if you self-isolate as instructed.
Continue with hands, face and space: done properly and by everyone this is a key part of our defence.
“Thousands of people in the borough have followed these crucial instructions, without this, our rates would be higher and more lives would have been lost,” said Ms Tennant.
“Thank you for sticking with it.”