Plymouth COVID-19 Update from the Director of Public Health

The rate of COVID-19 cases has now exceeded 130 cases per 100,000 and the numbers are still increasing. We are also seeing an increase in people being admitted to hospital because of this virus. The city is on the cusp of a Tier 2 level; meaning tougher restrictions. We can expect to enter Tier 2 within a matter of days if this trend continues. But we can avoid this!

There is still time to change this position, so by alerting the city, we could prevent figures rising further. So far Plymouth has avoided tighter restrictions, but more than ever it is absolutely essential that we are all complying fully, being COVID aware and helping to stay out of Tier 2. Encourage your family, your friends and your community to stay on board.

Wash hands

·       For at least 20 seconds regularly but always after: you blow your nose, sneeze or cough, before and after you eat or touch food and when you return home from being outside

Wear your face covering – this stops you from passing on the virus

Socially distance – stay away from others to stop CV19 in its tracks

·       2m, if we don’t get close to people, we cannot pass it on

Get a test if you have symptoms, no matter how minor including:

·       a new continuous cough

·       a high temperature

·       a change/loss of sense of smell or taste

Self-isolate properly, that means staying at home and not leaving

·       If you or someone in your household / support bubble has symptoms and is waiting for a test

·       10 days if you have tested positive

·       14 days if you have been in close contact with someone testing positive

Stick to six

·       The rule of six applies both indoors and outdoors if you are meeting anyone outside of your support bubble or household

Socialise and be outdoors if you can, it’s safer than indoors

Work from home if you can

Travel safely

·       Walk or cycle

·       Avoid busy times if using public transport and wear a face covering o If car-sharing – do it safely, keep windows open and wear a face covering

COVID doesn’t take a holiday – and it doesn’t mind who it infects, so be careful when socialising, even with loved ones when we often let our guard down

We all want to avoid the restrictive measures of Tier 2. We will not be able to see our families and friends indoors and our businesses will suffer from limits on households mixing indoors. I cannot stress how imperative it is that everyone across the city understands the seriousness of COVID-19 and how we must work together in order to stop it from impacting on our health, our families and friends, our NHS and our economy.

Much has been said about the impact of the restrictions – the actions we have been taking ARE working, as we can see from the level of R, but more needs to be done. The R rate before we had any restrictions was 2.5 to 3; it dropped below 1 during the spring, and remained low in the summer. It is currently at 1.3 and we need to get it back down.

Help and support

How you can help us?

Please help us to keep Plymouth safe. The more people we can encourage to be COVID-safe, the more we can protect each other and slow the rise in cases across the city. We all want to avoid a lockdown – we want children to be able to learn, families to see their loved ones, restaurants to stay open. The best way to avoid further restrictions is if everyone works together.

How can we help you and the communities you are in touch with?

We understand that everyone will have different needs or concerns and it is important for the Public Health Team to be able to address those, equipping everyone with the support they need in order to keep Plymouth safe. Part of our current insight work is looking how we can better help people across the city; if there is anything that we can provide which will benefit the communities you are in touch with, please share these with us.

You can email us at COVID19@plymouth.gov.uk with any questions or concerns you may have.