Speaking just 24 hours before pubs, restaurants and hotels in Sheffield were allowed to reopen, Sheffield Council’s director of public health Greg Fell said on average 16 people were testing positive for Covid-19 in the city every day, or around 112 per week.
However, Mr Fell said the disease was still circulating in the city and that the council’s newly announced local outbreak control plan would only be enough to cope with any future flare-ups if it was accompanied by continued vigilance on the part of the public.
He said: “UK wide, it is clear we are out of the first wave of the coronavirus, but it is far from over and we have to learn to live with it as we will see a rapid spread again if we are not careful. By careful we mean, continuing to wash your hands or use hand sanitiser, keep your distance and observe stickers in shops helping you to observe this safely, wear a face covering if you are travelling on public transport or using a taxi service and continuing to adhere to your social bubble of mixing with no more than two households. Most importantly, if you are feeling poorly or think you have symptoms, please isolate by staying at home and arranging to have a test.
“In terms of the data we have locally, Sheffield is recording an average of 16 positive cases a day confirmed by either Pillar 1 testing (swab testing in Public Health England (PHE) labs and NHS hospitals for those with a clinical need, and health and care workers) or Pillar 2 testing (swab testing for the wider population) which is broadly in line with what we would expect and reflects both the incidence of the disease and overall numbers of people being tested.
“The number of people being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 has been reducing, slowly, for several weeks and to date, 423 people have sadly died from Covid-19. During the last week there were no deaths (from Covid-19) recorded. We have good outbreak control management in Sheffield and the council’s Public Health team continue to work closely with Public Health England to manage the safe reopening of the city with appropriate safety measures in place to control any future infections in Sheffield.
“It’s important to remember that the virus is still in the community so we will see cases in Sheffield. Businesses do, however have well-prepared plans on how they need to respond to a coronavirus incident. This includes continued plans for testing, self-isolation where appropriate, and deep cleaning advised for affected premises. As is now standard practice, any positive cases will be followed up by NHS Test and Trace, with any close contacts of cases informed and advised to self-isolate.
“If we continue to observe the social distancing measures in place and groups maintain their advised social bubbles we are confident that the general public will be safe as long as we all remain cautious and continue to observe the guidelines. This is essential if we are to prevent any outbreaks in the city.”