Following the Health Secretary, Sajid Javid's, statement on Wednesday, 20 October, Medway Council Leader Alan Jarrett releases message to residents.
I hope this message finds you well.
I am sure you were all as disappointed as I was following the Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid’s, warning on Wednesday evening that cases of Coronavirus are rising across the country.
Whilst I am pleased that the government is continuing to strengthen treatments against this deadly disease COVID-19 remains a threat to our loved ones as well as the progress the country has made in getting back to normal life.
Whilst still carrying on with your daily lives I would urge you all to remember the government advice to continue to take precautions to protect ourselves and our loved ones including meeting outdoors, where possible, or opening a window if you’re meeting people inside; wearing a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you come into contact with people you don’t usually, keep getting tested and self-isolate if you need to and, most importantly, if you haven’t already, get vaccinated.
As part of our work to protect residents, we’re continued to provide access to on-site testing as well as providing home testing kits.
Around one in three people with Coronavirus don’t have symptoms which means they can spread the virus without knowing it. Regular testing continues to play a critical role in stopping the spread and breaking the chain of transmission.
During September, we provided on-site tests to more than 1,400 people and distributed more than 21,000 home test kits. Our work has been supported by a wide range of community groups whose support has been invaluable in helping us reach as many people as possible. This includes services who provide temporary accommodation to those in need as well as members of our faith groups.
We’ve been working closely with the Nigerian Community Association of Kent and Medway, Medway Hindu Parivar, and the Kent Ghana Association who have made it possible for us to distribute test kits to their community groups. We will continue to work with as many groups as possible to provide ease of access to covid test kits.
It has never been easier to get tested and I would encourage you all to keep testing yourselves regularly.
It’s also important that we protect ourselves against flu this winter. I’m due to have my flu jab and I would encourage all residents, particularly older residents, pregnant women and people with underlying health conditions, to get their jab as soon as possible.
We have all enjoyed seeing our loved ones and enjoying the freedoms which has been possible thanks to the vaccination programme. I’m sure you are all looking forward to spending Christmas with your extended family and friends this year, but, as the Health Secretary said last night, in order to make sure that this is possible we must all continue to take extra care.
It really is the little things that we can all do, such as testing, washing our hands more often and wearing face coverings in crowded places that can make a difference.
Cllr Alan Jarrett
Leader of Medway Council