Health chief confirms no new Covid-19 variants found in Warwickshire

  Posted: 19.02.21 at 10:29 by David Lawrence - Local Democracy Reporter

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No cases of new Covid-19 variants have been detected across Warwickshire, but plans are in place should that change according to the county’s director of public health.

Dr Shade Agboola added that infection rates were falling and that the six lateral flow test sites were working at near capacity.

Speaking at this week’s meeting of Warwickshire County Council’s adult social care and health overview and scrutiny committee, Dr Agboola said: “Figures show that lockdown is working, but it is working really slowly because it is different to the first lockdown as we know that more businesses are open.

“Locally our rates are the second lowest in the [West Midlands] region so Warwickshire’s rate is 143 per 100,000 and the rates have come down across all our districts and boroughs as have the over-60s rate. Stratford has one of the lowest positivity rates across the West Midlands at 4.8%.

“There are six lateral flow test sites operating at near full capacity on a daily basis. We have conducted a total of more than 70,000 tests.”

She also explained that Warwickshire would be ready if a new variant of the virus was detected.

Dr Agboola added: “We have started to put in place a process – we have communications material ready and identified an incident manager from fire and rescue who will take the lead role. All that planning is going on in the background.”

Earlier in the meeting, Cllr Pam Redford, who represents Warwick District Council on the committee, asked what was being done to encourage care workers to have the vaccine.

Alison Cartwright, of the South Warwickshire CCG, said: “Across the region we have vaccinated 89% of health and social care workers though that does vary across each health or social care group.

“The care home staff current levels are between 62% and 71% and we are working hard on increasing those rates with myth-busting sessions and additional vaccination sessions being held. We are working hard but we can’t force people, all we can do is give them enough information as possible.”

Cllr Les Caborn (Con, Budbrooke and Bishop’s Tachbrook), the county council’s portfolio holder for adult social care and health, added: “We are doing a tremendous amount of specialist and targeted communications across all our BAME communities and that picks up many of our social care workers.”

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