Epping Forest district is consistently showing the highest levels of Covid-19 in Essex.
Young people between 17 and 30 are the most common spreaders. Well publicised instances have shown the breakdown in social distancing and other precautions. Older relatives of young people are being put at particular risk by careless or selfish behaviour.
The District Council has issued a stark warning.
‘Change your behaviour or the virus will return’.
The focus of new infections is currently on young people, but the Council is also worried by poor management of some businesses. The majority of local businesses understand the importance of Covid precautions but others are ignoring basic requirements
- Social distancing – preferably of 2 meters (1 meter plus with other precautions such as screens and face masks)
- Track and trace recording – taking the names and contact details of customers in case of a local outbreak
- Face coverings – to reduce the risk of spreading infection
- Hand washing – the simplest and most effective means of fighting Covid-19
If these trends continue, the district risks an increase in Covid-related deaths and the closure of recently reopened high streets including pubs, restaurants, cafés and shops.
Businesses need to maintain the highest standards of care and young people need to moderate their behaviour if the district is not to slide back into the dark days of the spring when people were dying, and high streets were closed.
The Leader of Epping Forest District Council Councillor Chris Whitbread said:
Our country is on the brink of a second Coronavirus wave. Cases are growing everywhere. I understand people are tired of the restrictions, but Epping Forest is recording more cases than any other part of Essex. The number is still low but the trend is worrying. The government has announced new rules enforceable by the police with hefty fines for people that flout them. It’s not too late but the decision on whether we go forward or back as a district rests with each of us individually. It’s time to take responsibility.
Speak out to stay safe
Environmental Health Officers are visiting hairdressers and barbers after reports suggesting some staff are not taking proper precautions. Pubs and bars with little or no social distancing or track and trace records have been warned and served with improvement notices. But the most effective method of keeping our community safe is to speak out.
Councillor Whitbread said:
If you see basic precautions not being followed, don’t put up with it. Talk to the manager. If they can’t satisfy you, walk out. No haircut, coffee or evening meal is worth the risk of spreading Coronavirus to your loved ones, especially your older relatives.
Stay safe at home too
The same message applies at home. Councillor Whitbread said:
The same principles apply at home. Don’t put your family at risk. Follow the rules and keep your love-ones safe.
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