People in Staffordshire are being urged to be extra cautious while Covid-19 case rates continue to rise and the country experiences a shortage in tests.
Staffordshire’s case rate currently stands at more than 1,700 per 100,000 population, similar to the England average, with high levels largely linked to the more transmissible Omicron variant and increased household mixing over the festive period.
There are currently national shortages of both PCR and lateral flow tests, so residents are encouraged to be extra vigilant and do all they can to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, such as working from home if possible, limiting social mixing or meeting others outdoors.
Anybody eligible for a Covid vaccine or booster jab are advised to book an appointment or attend a walk-in clinic as soon as possible to get protected.
Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Support Member for Public Health and Integrated Care, Dr Johnny McMahon, said:
“Even with more residents vaccinated, case rates being so high runs the risk of more people needing to isolate which could affect essential services such as health and social care, so please ensure you’re doing everything possible to lower the risk to you and others, especially if you are unable to get tested due to the current national shortages.
“People who have had their booster jab have good protection against Omicron, so please make a New Year’s resolution to protect yourself and get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible.”
From 4 January 2022, the Government have recommended that secondary school students wear face coverings in classrooms to help reduce cases related to schools reopening.
Anybody aged over 12 years old is eligible for a Covid vaccine, and people aged 18 and over can get a booster vaccine if three months has passed since their second dose.
Following recommendations from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the NHS will begin rolling out booster vaccines to eligible healthy 16- and 17-year-olds during January with more detail to be announced.