Working together to reduce the spread

Residents in North Somerset have shown resilience and community spirit during the pandemic but we must all continue to do everything possible to protect our families, friends and neighbours.

Cases are rising fast locally so the council was already in discussions with neighbouring councils, partners in health and social care, and the government about moving into a higher alert level.

Yesterday (Sunday), the latest reported rate of infection in North Somerset was 151.6 per 100,000 people, with 326 new cases confirmed in the previous seven days.

All age groups are becoming infected so everyone must do their bit to help break the chain of infection.

Act like you already have the virus and keep practising the rules of ‘hands, face and space’.

At this time of year, hospitals and care settings face their normal winter pressures so we have to work together to make sure the system can cope and care for those in greatest need.

Moving to these more stringent measures means it will reduce the risk of these added pressure of Covid cases that we saw earlier in the year.

Anyone with symptoms should self-isolate and book a test immediately.

The symptoms are a high temperature, a new and continuous cough or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste.

Book a test online or call 119.

Three testing centres are available in North Somerset – at Castlewood in Clevedon, Locking Road car park in Weston-super-Mare, and the regional testing centre at Bristol Airport. These are for pre-booked appointments only.

Additional support for healthcare providers

Additional support is coming into force today (Monday) to ensure local health and care services can cope better with increased demand.

Health and care leaders in North Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire – working under the Healthier Together Partnership umbrella – are bringing in measures to protect people and make best use of resources.

Measures include faster discharges for all hospital admissions, enhanced mutual aid support between organisations, a telephone support service to help avoid hospital admissions, and wrap-around support for care homes.

You can help protect local health care services by using the most appropriate service for your needs – whether that’s the local GP practice, Minor Injuries Unit, Urgent Treatment Centre or pharmacy. Avoid A&E unless absolutely necessary.

A new video featuring local health care staff has been created to help you understand what to expect when you visit a health and care setting in the area.

It includes the latest information on infection prevention control and digital access, as well as setting out what you need to do before you arrive for in-person appointments.

Information about coronavirus hospital admissions is regularly updated online.