As Croydon’s coronavirus alert standing was raised to “Excessive” yesterday, Rachel Flowers, the council’s director of public well being, wrote to the borough’s 70 councillors interesting for his or her assist in getting the right info to residents.
In widespread with public well being officers at native authorities throughout England, although, Flowers’ work to attempt to cut back and include the unfold within the “second spike” of the pandemic has not been helped by bungling central authorities and its misfiring smartphone app and poorly performing check and hint system.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Well being Secretary Matt Hancock promised six months in the past that they might ship a “world-beating” check and hint system and app. But by September, when faculty pupils started to return to their school rooms after lockdown, the observe and hint system was nonetheless not working and the federal government’s preliminary app was junked after it failed in growth exams.
However the contact-tracing app which was launched three weeks in the past is now inflicting confusion: after the elevating of the alert stage throughout London at midnight on Friday, there were multiple reports of people in the same room being sent different alert levels on Saturday morning.
Some customers in London stated the alert on their app had not modified from Medium to Excessive in accordance with the Tier 2 lockdown restrictions which got here into impact.
The Division of Well being and Social Care stated yesterday that it had recognized and resolved the issue, which affected updates made to the app’s postcode alert system on Friday night.
In response to a flurry of complaints on Twitter, the app’s official account pointed to a “Regularly Requested Questions” web page on the NHS web site which supplied a cop-out that postcode districts don’t map precisely to native authorities, and so a couple of alert stage could apply to a selected postcode district.
Immediately, in Croydon, the message on the app tells these dwelling within the CR0 put up code space, which covers many of the borough of Croydon, that their native covid alert stage is each “Medium” and “Excessive”.
Such conflicting and contradictory messaging from Johnson’s authorities has been criticised strongly by medical professionals since March, when the pandemic was declared.
The messaging on the council’s personal web site is just not as crystal clear because it most likely could possibly be – largely, it appears, as a result of nobody has bothered to replace the location from the standing on Friday earlier than the change in alert stage. Thus, the council net web page states right now, “The covid alert stage for the borough of Croydon is Medium. From Saturday 17 October the alert stage is Excessive.”
It’s the form of factor which makes the job of council officers similar to Flowers all of the tougher.
Flowers and her staff have continued to work flat-out from the earliest phases of the pandemic, undistracted by different crises confronting them and their colleagues working for the council.
As was recommended in midweek by Matthew Kershaw, the CEO of the Croydon NHS Trust, they have been having some success in controlling the spread of the virus, with figures to October 14 suggesting that the sharp rise within the variety of confirmed instances in Croydon throughout September has began to tail off.
The variety of confirmed optimistic case of covid-19 in Croydon reached 56 on September 30.
However there have been zero optimistic exams within the borough for 3 consecutive days at the beginning of this week, on October 10, 11 and 12.
Flowers, although, is taking nothing as a right.
In her e-mail to councillors on Friday, she wrote, “An infection charges are rising quickly all through the capital and because of this the federal government has introduced that the entire of London, together with Croydon, will turn out to be a Tier 2 space – with the native alert stage raised to HIGH as of midnight tonight (Friday).
“This implies new guidelines can be in place to cut back the speed of transmission and preserve Croydon protected.
“The important thing change is:
“You have to not socialise with anyone apart from members of your family or assist bubble in any indoor setting, whether or not at dwelling or in a public place, together with pubs and eating places.
“You may nonetheless meet with different households outdoors, in gardens or out of doors areas, offering everybody maintains a two-metre distance and sticks to the ‘Rule of Six’.”
Flowers burdened to the councillors that all of us must:
- Preserve your distance
- Wash your palms
- Put on a face protecting
- Rule of Six – don’t meet in teams bigger than six
- Self-isolate if in case you have signs when you prepare a check, or in case you are suggested to as a result of you’ve got come into shut contact with somebody who has examined optimistic
For the most recent authorities steerage go to www.gov.uk/coronavirus.