North Lincolnshire residents are being encouraged to be good neighbours, protect the vulnerable and follow national guidelines over the next few weeks.
That is how we will beat Covid-19 and prepare to rebuild, Cllr Rob Waltham, Leader of North Lincolnshire Council has said.
The national lockdown came into force across England on 5 January, with schools closing and residents told to stay at home whenever possible.
For more information on the latest guidance, and a Q&A on what it means for our area, visit our website.
Cllr Waltham said: “It shouldn’t take a national lockdown for me to ask people to be good neighbours, we all need to be taking a few precautions to ensure we can all protect the most vulnerable.
“It will take the collective effort of us as residents of North Lincolnshire to support the communities we live in throughout the coming weeks.
“So please step up and help those older and vulnerable residents who live near you, do not assume someone else will, kindness costs nothing.
“As we have seen on so many occasions throughout the whole of the Covid-19 pandemic, a kind word or a wave, picking up a pint of milk or collecting a prescription, those little things, are what make the difference.
“This latest national lockdown is by no means how we had all hoped to begin 2021 though the number of hospital admissions nationally is clearly of significant concern.
“Medical experts tell us, and the statistics show us, that hospital admissions are the precursor to a rise in deaths. That is the rationale behind why the Government has had to ask us all once again to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.
“The guidance is relatively simply, and while there are some exceptions to the stay home advice, ‘hands, face, space’ remains absolutely critical, so too does self-isolation.
“There is a chance that this lockdown will have a greater impact locally than in areas where the rate of infection is already higher – that, along with the roll out of the vaccine, puts us in an excellent position to protect those most susceptible to the impact of the virus and ensures we can start to rebuild quickly when we get through the other side.”
Core council services across North Lincolnshire are continuing to operate, although some services have been affected by current restrictions. You can find all the latest updates on our website.
Steve Pintus, Director of Public Health for North and North East Lincolnshire, added: “Going into lockdown is not how any of us wanted to start the New Year.
“While our infection rate is lower than many parts of the country, it is still far too high and tougher measures are needed. We have seen in the past that the rate in our area often lags behind other areas by around a couple of weeks, so going into lockdown while our rates are comparatively low puts us in a good position.
“It will be a tough few weeks, but these measures are needed to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.
“There is also the uncertainty around the new strain that currently is more prominent in the south east, however we do know that it is more infectious so spreads more quickly.
“The vaccine roll out is going well with thousands of people over 80 and staff and residents in care homes already vaccinated. This will continue at pace to more vulnerable people and key workers over the next few weeks.
“It is vital that all of us follow the new rules as well as sticking to good hand hygiene, wearing a mask when needed and social distancing. People who have symptoms must self-isolate and book a test. Along with the vaccine roll out this is the way we can tackle Covid-19.”