Message from Julia Burrows, Director of Public Health, Barnsley – 16 October 2020

Coronavirus is now spreading fast throughout the community and to vulnerable members of the community which is very worrying.

The number of people being infected with Coronavirus (Covid-19) continues to rise sharply in Barnsley – the most recent seven-day rate of new infections in Barnsley is 262.9 per 100,000 people in the population (using data for the seven days ending on 10 October). This shows a further increasing trend.

As many of us feared since we started seeing the numbers increase again, they are translating to a rise in hospital admissions, including to Intensive Care, causing significant pressure in our hospital. And tragically, since the beginning of October, there has been a rise in the number of Barnsley people dying as a result of the virus. 

It has never been more important to follow the guidance and rules to halt the spread.  We are at risk of the virus getting out of control in Barnsley, and the actions each of us takes will influence whether that happens or not. 

I understand how hard it is to follow the continued restrictions and the further rules and regulations that came in this week, especially the impact they have on seeing our extended families and friends.  But if we don’t quickly reduce the amount of social mixing between people in Barnsley it will lead to our health services being overwhelmed and will result in more deaths

It starts with the basics – wash your hands regularly, keep your distance (at least two metres apart when outside), and wear a face covering.  I can’t emphasise enough how important and effective these measures are – and they’re something we can all do. 

If you have symptoms – a high temperature, a new and persistent cough or loss or a change to your sense of smell or taste, stay at home and self-isolate, and arrange to get a test. 

Don’t be a contact – follow social distancing guidance at home, work, and when you’re out and about. Remember, it is now against the law to meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble with them. This includes private homes and any other indoor venues such as pubs and restaurants.

These guidelines aren't only in place to keep you safe but also to protect your parents, grandparents, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, friends, neighbours, work colleagues, and frontline workers.  I urge you to follow them. 

Thank you to everyone who is sticking to the guidance. 

Please stay safe and keep well.

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