Residents across North Lincolnshire are being urged to maintain their resolve to keep coronavirus at bay.
As national restrictions continue to be loosened, new cases of Covid-19 in North Lincolnshire continue to decline. Only three new cases have been confirmed in the last week, bringing the total in our area since the outbreak began to 724.
Non essential retail opened in mid-June, museums and other additional community facilities began to open their doors soon afterwards and more recently, pubs and restaurants followed suit.
Now, leisure centres and gyms are preparing to let in members for the first time since mid-March.
But as more and more of the lockdown measures are eased, public health officials have stressed that the virus is still with us and urged everybody to do their bit to keep it under control.
North Lincolnshire Health and Wellbeing Board has teamed up with Scunthorpe Live for the Stop Covid campaign and over the coming weeks, it will feature the latest information and advice for residents throughout the area from health bosses.
Penny Spring, director of public health for North Lincolnshire, said:
“Every day the number of infections continues to stay low is another day closer to this being over but we are by no means there yet, not by a long way.
“Until a vaccine is found the virus will be part of lives and we must be vigilant in everything we do.
“While we are returning to a sense of normality, we have to accept that our lives will be different for some time yet.”
The latest advice from the region’s senior public health advisor comes after additional data was recently made available to councils.
Local authorities across the country have been asked by the Government to manage prevention and outbreaks in their areas.
In North Lincolnshire, the Health and Wellbeing Board has taken on this role. It is led by North Lincolnshire Council but includes the NHS North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group and patients’ champion Healthwatch.
Ms Spring says the data enables the teams to better plan for managing Covid-19 now the teams have a “clearer picture”.
She said: “We know the number of cases of Covid-19 have been declining across North Lincolnshire. This continues to be the case.
“The suppression of the spread is directly attributable to the adherence to the measures put in place to protect us all.
“As the number of cases continues to decline, we must observe these measures with equal diligence.
“Until Covid is no longer in our community, the rate is higher than we would want.
“We are in a much stronger position to do this with the new data which is now available to us – we have a much clearer picture of the challenge at hand and a much greater understanding of what needs to happen to keep people safe and well.”
The new data now includes both “Pillar 1” and “Pillar 2” information. Pillar 1 is from tests carried out in hospitals and Pillar 2 is data from tests carried out at drive-through centres and home testing kits processed in commercial labs.
While the new information will be helpful in reacting to increases, Ms Spring was clear that the responsibility to stop the spread of Covid sits with each person in North Lincolnshire.
She said: “I cannot stress enough the importance of being disciplined with our hygiene measures, social distancing and infection control – everything we each do has an impact whether at home, in school, at the shop or in our places of work.
“Stopping Covid and preventing local outbreaks is all of our responsibility – these measures will protect us, our families and our communities.”