Essex Leaders and MPs request move to ‘High level’ Covid restrictions as coronavirus cases continue to rise.
Following extensive discussions with leaders of other councils across the county and with Essex MPs, Essex County Council is to apply to the Secretary of State to be placed into the new ‘High level’ banding of COVID-19 restrictions.
Increase in cases
Essex continues to see an increase in cases, which the County’s Director of Public Health and Wellbeing, Dr Mike Gogarty has advised will continue to accelerate unless urgent action is taken and a move to ‘High’ from the current ‘Medium’ level is made sooner rather than later.
Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic Essex residents have done all that has been asked of them, and have kept infection levels low in comparison to other areas in the country. The work of the Public Health team in Essex County Council, alongside other ECC colleagues and colleagues in district councils has been exemplary and it is seen as one of the most capable partnership responses in the country by Public Health England.
Move made sooner rather than later
Based on a detailed analysis of the available data, The County’s Director of Public Health, Dr Mike Gogarty, has advised that Essex has a better chance of flattening the rate of infection and therefore protecting lives, jobs, businesses and the NHS if the move is made sooner rather than later.
The rate of growth is now exponential and cases doubling every 1 to 2 weeks. Without action now, the restrictions that Essex residents would have to face would be even more severe, last longer and do more damage to the Essex economy.
Leaders from across the Essex County Council’s area, along with the county’s MPs and Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, are supportive of the proposal which will go to the secretary of State today, Tuesday 13 October.
Act now to stem this increase
Cllr Chris Whitbread, Leader of Council said:
By acting now, we can hope to stem this increase, limiting the time that we are in these enhanced restrictions and – above all – avoiding further escalation into ‘Very High’. All of this will limit the damage to the economy; a healthy economy is critical to everyone having better lives in future.
We already have one of the best track and trace operations in the country, but we will also be aiming to push its performance still higher alongside strengthening enforcement capacity and visibility. Making these painful decisions now will, we hope, bring dividends later.
The advice is compelling
Cllr Chris Whitbread continued:
We need both to look ahead and across the whole system.
The advice from our Director of Public Health is compelling – that without action now, we can expect to see continuing doubling of rates week after week, and these increases will be followed by on-going growth in hospital admissions and, most horribly of all, deaths. It is critical that we enable the hospitals and the NHS as a whole not just to cope with Covid, but to avoid yet further backlogs in other aspects of critical care.
Act now to minimise impact on public health and economy
Cllr Chris Whitbread added:
Across the county we have moved from gradual to exponential growth with number of cases doubling roughly every 1-to-2 weeks.
We want act now to minimise the impact on the public health and the economy and by doing so we believe we can shorten the period of enhanced restrictions.
Keep up to date
Keep in touch with our latest news, service updates and reports.