‘Don’t mix households in Peterborough and help control Covid’ says Director of Public health

Peterborough’s Director of Public Health has asked city residents to avoid inviting people they don’t live with into their homes.

By Mark Edwards
Saturday, 31st October 2020, 7:56 am
A coronavirus test is deposited at a mobile Covid-19 testing centre in Peterborough. EMN-200915-123824001
A coronavirus test is deposited at a mobile Covid-19 testing centre in Peterborough. EMN-200915-123824001

Dr Liz Robin, Director of Public Health for Peterborough City Council, praised the efforts made by the public in the city so far but said we need to work ‘even harder’.

She told the Peterborough Telegraph: “We are seeing a rise in cases right across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough compared to where we were in September.

“If we look at the figures at this stage in October they are a lot higher than they were in September, more noticeable in the cities but also in the rural areas.

Peterborough and Cambridgeshire Director of Public Health Dr Liz Robin.

“Therefore, because of that and the national trends my advice is we need to work even harder on this.

“Residents of Peterborough have been fantastic so far, but we need to move that advice a step further. 
“If you can work from home – please do, I’d also say we know a big part of the spread of Covid-19 is where people socialise indoors, it’s mixing between different households indoors at a social level.

“Because of this I would now ask all of you to avoid inviting people they don’t live with round to their homes, we know that drives transmission of the virus.

“It is more important than ever to continue to observe all the public health and government guidelines – so I would urge you to:

- reduce the amount of mixing you do outside your household –do Halloween differently, don’t trick or treat, don’t have parties this year

- work from home wherever possible

- in all situations wash your hands regularly, keep a distance of two meters from those you don’t live with, and wear a face covering on shared transport, in shops and shopping areas and other indoor places as required.

“If you have any symptoms of Covid-19 you should isolate and go out only to get a test, or you can phone or text to get a test sent to you by post. If you test positive you must isolate - you for 10 days and anyone you live with must isolate for 14 days. If you don’t have someone to help when you’re isolating, contact the Peterborough Hub on 01733 747474 for details of support in your local area.

“Acting now will help prevent this rise in infections reaching more vulnerable people - causing serious, sometimes long term illness and even death. It will help protect our health service and help us all get back to a more normal life more quickly.”

In the seven days up to Friday (October 30) Peterborough had 275 new cases diagnosed which gave the city a rate of 136 new cases per 100,000 of population - this was an increase on the previous week when there were 200 new cases and the rate was 98.9 cases per 100,000.

Dr Robin briefed Peterborough city councillors this week. 
She said the city’s rate of cases per 100,000 was well below the national average of 225.0, but has been rising in recent weeks.

She said: “It is critical that people follow the rules and don’t throw away all the good work that has taken place in our communities up until now, to keep rates of the virus down. We don’t want to see further rises, we want to avoid tighter restrictions where we can, and we certainly don’t want to see more people getting ill or dying in our county.

“We are continuing and stepping up our work with communities - as it is people’s day to day behaviour which is key - and we are working closely with all our partners.”

Other steps taken in Peterborough include:

- Stepped up rapid response work on the ground in areas and with communities where we are seeing local outbreaks.

- Letters sent to all local employers asking them to consider if more of their employees can work from home, and reminding them of Covid security measures in the workplace.

- New posters aimed at encouraging Covid secure behaviours in Gyms

- Continued focus on Peterborough’s own local-enhanced contact tracing pilot - reaching between 70 – 80% of cases that the national system cannot reach.

- Continued sharing of translations of messages in a range of different languages to explain how the test and trace app works are now being shared on social media channels.

- Support for increased police patrols