As the UK marks 500 days this week since the first national lockdown came into force, Staffordshire’s health chiefs have called for people to get vaccinated and continue taking sensible Covid precautions to make sure we never go back into lockdown again.
The first national lockdown came into force on 26 March last year, with further lockdowns necessary from 5 November 2020 and again from 6 January this year to reduce rapidly rising Covid cases and protect the NHS.
Dr Johnny McMahon, Staffordshire County Council Cabinet Support Member for Public Health and Integrated Care, said:
“We’ve all had to make sacrifices over the last 18 months and it’s been a long, difficult road to where we find ourselves today, with the vaccination programme making a real impact and case numbers falling for the first time outside of a lockdown.
“However, we mustn’t be complacent. There are still many people who are eligible but who haven’t yet had their vaccinations, including many younger people between 18 and 24. I urge them to get vaccinated.
“Everyone aged 18 and over should get both doses of the vaccine as quickly as possible. This is the best way to protect themselves and others from the serious effects of Covid-19. Every vaccination helps to further reduce the spread of Covid and reduces the possibility of further lockdowns.”
The number of Covid cases in the county has now fallen for the second week running. The seven-day period to 22 July saw the number of cases in Staffordshire fall by more than 400 to 3,815, the first weekly drop in cases since the end of May. The seven-day period to 29 July saw cases fall further, to 2,082.
Dr Richard Harling, Staffordshire County Council’s Director for Health and Care, added:
“The downward trend in cases is good news. However, there are still a lot of people being infected, so it’s important that we continue taking sensible precautions to limit the spread of the virus. Remember ‘Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air’, keep testing, wear a face covering on public transport and in crowded places, and get vaccinated as soon as you can.”