Julia Weldon, Hull's Director of Public Health sits at her desk. She is wearing a red check jacket and has a serious expression
Julia Weldon, Director of Public Health at Hull City Council

Hull’s rising covid rates: act now, urges health lead

An urgent plea has been issued by Hull City Council’s Director of Public Health, as Coronavirus rates and hospital admissions rocket.

The official Public Health England (PHE) seven-day rate for the city (October 29 to November 4) has reached 630.9 per 100,000, with 315 new cases yesterday. The figure is now double that of England (240.3) and higher than Yorkshire and the Humber (441.7) – it is expected to continue to rise steeply. Hospital admissions during the same seven-day period increased 73 per cent – with 78 coronavirus patients admitted, compared with 45 in the previous seven days. Between eight and 12 ventilator beds have been in use.

Julia Weldon, Director of Public Health, said: “While we don’t want to worry people, the time has come to look at our local data and afford it the gravity it deserves.

“These rates are not good news. Just a handful of weeks ago we had fewer than five cases in the whole city and we’re now seeing hundreds every day.

“We work closely with our NHS and other health partners across the city and we know that while we should keep confidence in our local services’ ability to cope, the strain they are feeling now is significant. It is likely we are just days away from some routine services being stopped.

“The picture locally is the worst is has been – our cases and admissions are higher than at any other point during the pandemic. It has never been more important that we all understand and follow the advice.

“Do not leave home unless it is absolutely necessary and then, only for the specific reasons allowed under the restrictions. I know it is hard and I know you’re all tired and want things to return to normal. I know that as we enter a season of celebration, including Diwali and Christmas, it feels more difficult than ever that we cannot see loved ones.

“While the government has initially put these tighter restrictions in place until December 2, lifting them is dependent on a review of the data at that point. If we do not manage to reduce our local rate by that time, I cannot see any way that we would be able to go ahead with any relaxing of the rules.

“Over the coming weeks, to protect each other, the NHS and the opportunity to be together again as soon as possible, it is absolutely critical we all play our part.

“Please, however hard it is, don’t be tempted to break or even bend the rules. None of us is exempt from the virus and so none of us is exempt from doing as we have been asked. As we did earlier this year, it is time to pull together by staying apart.

“I have faith in our city and I am hopeful that if we can really work hard for the next few weeks, we will have better news to bring you”.

Under the current national restrictions:

  • you must stay at home except for specific permitted reasons (including work, if you cannot work from home, education and shopping for essentials or medicine)
  • you cannot meet socially with anyone indoors or in a private garden unless they’re in your support bubble
  • certain businesses and venues, including pubs and non-essential retail must close.

Get full details as well as local information on how to get help, including for businesses and if you are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) here: https://www.hullccnews.co.uk/02/11/2020/council-responds-to-governments-lockdown-announcement/

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