Message from Julia Burrows, Barnsley Director of Public Health – 29 December 2020

Latest figures

The most recent seven-day rate of new COVID-19 infections in Barnsley is 205.8 per 100,000 people in the population (using data for the seven days ending on 23 December). This is up from 180.7 per 100,000 people in the population (using data for the seven days ending on the 17 December).

Tiers and restrictions

As you will have seen in the national news, COVID-19 is rising across the whole country. I think we all know that there's a possibility that the government will implement more widespread restrictions over the coming weeks to try and reduce the spread of the virus. We await their decision on this.

Until we hear any more information from the government on this, Barnsley remains in tier 3 (very high restrictions) along with the rest of South Yorkshire.

Festive period

I hope that everyone has been able to have the best Christmas possible, in the safest way possible. 

I now urge you to think about your plans for celebrating the New Year. We all must follow the tier 3 (very high restrictions) rules on mixing with other people and do everything we can to keep our vulnerable people and hospitals safe:

  • You must not meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless they are part of your household or support bubble. You must also not meet with people outside of your household or support bubble in a private garden or in most outdoor public venues.

  • You can continue to see friends and family in groups of six or less that you don't live with (or have formed a support bubble with) in certain outdoor public spaces, such as a park or beach, the countryside, a public garden or sports venues.

As mentioned in my last message, I am very concerned that increased social mixing over Christmas will lead to a spike in infections, hospitalisations and sadly deaths in January. This could mean we have to stay in tighter restrictions for longer. We'll monitor the data closely to see what impact the relaxed Christmas restrictions have had on the borough.

Ask for help if you need it.

Please look after yourselves and those around you. Simply asking somebody if they're alright gives them the opportunity to open up. You can find more advice, information and contacts on our COVID-19 webpage.

Remember the basics

  • Wash hands - wash your hands regularly.
  • Cover face - wear a face-covering in enclosed spaces.
  • Make space - stay at least 2 metres apart - or 1 metre with a face covering or other precautions.
  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms (a new continuous cough; a high temperature; or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste) no matter how mild, arrange a test immediately. This can be done via www.nhs.uk/coronavirusor by calling 119.

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