On March 3, 2020, Hull’s first Coronavirus case was identified. Less than three weeks later, with cases climbing nationally, the government announced an initial UK-wide lockdown. On the anniversary of that local case, with the city’s must vulnerable now immunised and the vaccine continuing to roll out, health leaders at Hull City Council have reflected on the past 12 months.
Cllr Stephen Brady, Leader of Hull City Council, said: “A year ago, none of us could have imagined just how significantly Coronavirus would affect all our lives and how long it would go on.
“I want to pay my respects to every person who has lost their life to the virus and my condolences to all the loved ones affected. Deaths and cases are not just numbers or statistics, they are the individuals who make up our communities and every single one matters.
“I am very hopeful that we have reached a point where we will continue to see fewer and fewer people catching Coronavirus. Our local vaccine programme has already provided protection for thousands who are most vulnerable and continues to roll out to less at risk groups.
“Our task over the coming months as we emerge from lockdown will be to continue to take the virus seriously but to use the strength and resilience we have in this city to move forward. We all have a part to play in continuing to do as we are asked so that by the time summer is here we can be back at our independent shops, back in our local bars, restaurants, theatres and gig venues. Most importantly, we can come back together with those we haven’t seen for many months now”.
Julia Weldon, Director of Public Health at Hull City Council, said: “When we look back on a year of living with Coronavirus, it’s vital to honour the part played by every person in the city. All the things you’ve done have made a difference. Every time you’ve realised you forgot your mask and gone back for it, every time you’ve washed and sanitised chapped hands, talked on zoom when you wanted to be together, desperately missed hugging those you love most, plugged in for another day of trying to manage home school and working or went out to your job while everyone else stayed safe.
“As we begin to unlock it will be crucial to keep that same vigilance so that the freedoms we gain can stay with us. The vaccine makes a huge difference in allowing us to live safely but it doesn’t diminish our own roles in preventing Coronavirus spreading. We all need to keep doing as we are advised so that we continue moving forward together”.
Testing will remain a key tool to manage the spread of Coronavirus. If you have any one symptom – a temperature, cough that doesn’t stop or food or drink tastes strange or of nothing at all – immediately isolate with your household and book a test online: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. Testing is free and readily available for everyone with one or more symptoms.
Additionally, routine testing for those without symptoms is available for businesses and individuals in critical worker roles not already accessing it through another route. The council has three test centres for this type of testing. To sign up, visit the website: http://www.hull.gov.uk/coronavirus/coronavirus-business-advice-and-support/lateral-flow-testing-businesses.