Council leader gives Coronavirus update after cases of Indian variant in Aylesbury
The council leader revealed that the 'infection rate locally is following the national trend downwards' despite concern over cases of the Indian variant in Aylesbury
Bucks Council leader Martin Tett has revealed the Covid infection rate locally continues to follow the downward national trend despite local cases of the Indian variant.
Mr Tett said the rate is now at 12.1 per 100,000.
He put it down to 'a tribute to the effects of both the observance of the lockdown but also particularly the high take-up rate locally of the vaccination programme'.
As things stand in Buckinghamshire 437,886 vaccinations have now been given.
The vaccine is safe and effective and anyone aged 38 or over (or who turns 38 before 1 July) is currently eligible to book their vaccination appointment.
However, it wasn't all good news, as Mr Tett did say there were several causes for concern looking forward.
Mainly the small number of 'Indian variant' Coronavirus cases detected in Aylesbury.
He said: "A small number of cases of the variant of Covid first identified in India have been found in the Kingsbrook area of Aylesbury.
"All the people involved have followed the guidance and have self-isolated.
"However, it’s really important we track this as closely as possible, so Buckinghamshire Council and Public Health England have started targeted testing in the area this week.
"This is so we can help avoid the spread of this variant and understand whether it is spreading in our community."
You can read about the surge testing initiative launched by Buckinghamshire Council here."We are asking everyone who visits, lives or works in the Oakfield Village area of the Kingsbrook estate (postcodes HP22 7AA to HP22 7BP) to come forward for a PCR test regardless of whether you have symptoms or not.
" There will be special mobile testing units in the area and we ask as many people as possible to visit them between today (Thursday 13 May) and Saturday 15 May.
"These test centres will be at four different locations, two in the centre of Aylesbury (Lidl Oakfield Road and Vale Retail Park) and two in Bierton (Aktiva Nursery and ‘The Dog House’ pub)."
As the second step of the Coronavirus road map is set to be taken on May 14 - he again urged vigilance.
"On Monday next week (17 May) we can all look forward to further easing of Covid restrictions.
"You’ll no doubt be aware that the government is satisfied its four tests are continuing to be met and that the roadmap can safely continue.
"From Monday we’ll be able to eat and drink inside pubs, cafes and restaurants.
"We can meet others indoors (two households or rule of six), and we can stay overnight in a hotel.
"Of huge importance to all of us, we can hug loved ones once again, and we can make our own choices on social distancing with close friends and family – this includes everyone, including anyone who’s been shielding.
"All of these are freedoms we’ve been without and that I’m sure we will never take for granted again.
"I must underline the importance of doing all of this cautiously.
"The message is clear; let’s take this next step carefully. Covid hasn’t gone away – people are still catching it and people are still spreading it.
"There are still rules in place that should be followed, such as the limits on numbers of people who can meet socially, so I ask you to make sure you are familiar with what we can and cannot do from Monday.
"When considering close contacts, weigh up the risks and stay cautious.
"Social distancing will still apply in settings like shops and hospitals.
"Still meet outside where you can and let fresh air in when you’re indoors."
He also stressed the importance of getting regularly tested and taking the opportunity to get vaccinated when it becomes avaliable.
"We have new mobile testing units offering free rapid tests in various locations from this week – you can also visit one of the fixed sites and take test kits home if you prefer.
"There’s more information about rapid testing on our website and you can also get up to date information on where the mobile testing units are on our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram).
"If you or someone you live with develops symptoms of Covid make sure your household isolates and book a test for anyone with symptoms, either online or by calling 119."