Back in June 2020, when we first launched our Outbreak Control Plan and Board, we committed to preventing, detecting, responding to, and reducing the impact of COVID-19 among our communities.
We made a promise to Barnsley residents that we would not be complacent in our approach, which is why after this week’s meeting of the Board, it’s important to reiterate that we still have a lot of work to do together to get through this pandemic, which is far from over, despite great strides made in local vaccination uptake.
We’ve returned to a climb in all-age case rates, and as our baseline number was quite high to start with, it puts Barnsley above the England average.
Like other areas of the country, this is down to the ongoing conditions for community transmission – a more relaxed approach to social mixing and safety measures now largely voluntary.
However, we know that the most common variant, Delta, is also highly transmissible and while having both doses of the vaccine makes you far less likely to become seriously ill from Covid, it’s still a pretty unpleasant experience.
We need to live safely with Covid and make sure that we continue to do everything we can to support those in our communities who still feel vulnerable. We all still need to act in ways that look after ourselves, our friends, families, and communities.
Please take precautions where you can – consider wearing a face-covering in crowded areas and inside shops, regularly wash your hands, stay a safe distance apart from people you don’t live with, and be careful about the number of different people you come into contact with
Please continue to use Lateral Flow Tests twice a week if you don't have symptoms to make sure you aren't spreading the virus without realising, book a PCR test if you have any symptoms, no matter how mild. Continue to self-isolate where required and we will continue to support your wellbeing while you are doing your bit to protect others.
All these small actions add up to make a really big difference to the risk.
That this has been a long and difficult time, but please continue to do everything you can. Let’s keep going, Barnsley.
Barnsley Outbreak Control Board is made up of a number of council and partner representatives, including councillors, Public Health, Berneslai Homes, South Yorkshire Police, Public Health England, Barnsley Health Integration Partnership Board, Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce, Barnsley College, Barnsley Schools’ Alliance, Barnsley Council for Voluntary Services, and residential care homes.