Health director thinks tide is turning
Devon’s director of public health has told the county: “Hope is on the horizon."
On the day of the largest number of deaths in a single day from the virus in England was announced Steve Brown told Devon residents to "stay home as much as you can and be extra careful when you need to go out”, but that the tide may be turning.
In a statement, Mr Brown says: “The steep rise in covid cases we have seen since Christmas now looks like it’s beginning to level off in Devon and our numbers are stabilising.
“Most people across Devon have responded really well yet again and I can only thank and applaud them as I know how difficult and dark a time this is for many.
“But even though the tide looks like it might be beginning to turn I encourage everyone to keep it up, stay focussed and to each do our bit for a little while longer. Our hospitals are working flat out, our care homes are battling to protect vulnerable older residents, and tragically we are still seeing an increase in the numbers of deaths. Sadly, this is likely to continue for several more weeks to come.
“Hope is on the horizon. The vaccine programme is rapidly gathering pace and everyone in our care homes and the rest of the over 80s should have had the chance to have a first dose over the next few weeks. More will follow.
“More community testing is also on the way for all those key workers who have to go out to work so we can find cases in people with no symptoms and so they can isolate and help break the chain of transmission and protect those they might come into contact with.
“Every time you leave your home you risk coming into contact with an infected person or touching a surface, door handle or petrol pump which may be contaminated. Any one of these interactions could be a crucial link in the chain of transmission which could lead to someone becoming seriously ill or dying from covid-19.
“And while it’s really important to take daily exercise in the fresh air for physical and mental wellbeing, please stay as close to home as possible – ideally start and finish your exercise at your front door – and if you meet another person from another household to join you on your exercise, make sure you stay two metres apart at all times.
“Staying at home and avoiding non-essential journeys and social contact are the most important steps we can all take to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Please, think very carefully before you leave your home and be absolutely certain that the journey you are about to make is essential. By doing this, we can all play a vital part in our fight against this horrendous disease.”