An update from Dr Rupert Suckling - 21st September

As you may know, the government have released the latest announcement regarding the country’s Autumn/Winter Covid-19 response plan

As you will likely have seen in the widespread media coverage following the announcement, there are two versions of the plan:

Plan A – which aims to continue the positive progress that has been made through vaccination, testing and people isolating if they have symptoms, preparing the country for future challenges, while ensuring the NHS does not come under unsustainable pressure; and

Plan B – which will come into force if the data suggests the NHS is likely to come under unsustainable pressure. Plan B prioritises measures which can help control transmission of the virus while seeking to minimise economic and social impacts.

You can read about the above plans in more detail, here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-autumn-and-winter-plan-2021/covid-19-response-autumn-and-winter-plan-2021

In Doncaster, we are continuously reviewing our local Covid-19 response, too, and
we will continue to issue advice to residents and businesses throughout the autumn/winter period.

As the weather gets colder and more colds and viruses, such as flu, become prevalent in the community, it is therefore vitally important that we work together to minimise transmission of Covid-19 wherever possible, practicing safer behaviours and actions both in and out of the workplace to reduce the spread, such as:

The government will continue to update the Working Safely guidance throughout
the autumn/winter period, providing guidance on how employer can reduce the
risks in the workplace.

You should familiarise yourself with this guidance regularly and consider it when preparing
health and safety risk assessments, putting in place suitable mitigations:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19

Additionally, the new Autumn/Winter Plan details that should ‘Plan B’ come into force, the
Government would also consider asking people to once again work from home if they can,
for a limited period. A final decision would be made on this by the Government, based on
data at the time.

Over the coming weeks and months we will be continuing to monitor Covid-19 levels in
Doncaster, and will continue to issue our own local advice to residents and businesses as
and when required.

Please remember to look out for my weekly videos which are sent out on the council’s
Twitter feed and website every Friday, as they provide the latest details about the current
picture in Doncaster.

Covid-19 vaccination
COVID vaccination is still an important line of defence, from this week everyone aged over
12 in Doncaster is eligible for a COVID vaccination and ‘booster’ doses will also be offered
to eligible groups of people.
For more information about the vaccine, please visit:
https://www.doncasterccg.nhs.uk/covid-19-vaccine/

Influenza (flu) vaccination
The government has recommended as many people as possible receive a vaccination
against flu this autumn and winter and has extended eligibility for free vaccination to help
reduce pressure on the NHS. This is especially important this year given the possibility of
a substantial resurgence in flu.
For further information about flu vaccination in Doncaster, visit:

Testing update
There are a number of symptomatic and asymptomatic testing options available for people
in the borough:             
Flu vaccinations – Doncaster CCG

Symptomatic:
If you go on to develop one of the symptoms of Covid-19, a high temperature, a new
persistent cough, or a loss of sense of smell or taste please book a test via the NHS
testing system (visit nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119). Financial support for self-isolation
Doncaster Council, Civic Office, Waterdale, Doncaster, DN1 3BU
may be available. Please visit: www.doncaster.gov.uk/services/emergencies/coronavirusfinancial-
advice
to find out more.

Asymptomatic:
Community testing, using Lateral Flow Devices (LFDs but also known as ‘rapid’ or LFT tests) is still available for residents through our mobile testing unit, pharmacy collect and ordering online. This isimportant to identify people who ARE NOT displaying coronavirus symptoms and, in turn, reducing
coronavirus t ransmission rates in the community.
Please visit www.doncaster.gov.uk/covidtesting for more information about this.

Test and Trace
Our local and national test and trace teams are also operating across Doncaster.
The teams will work with people with a positive result to identify contacts in a bid to reduce
the spread of the virus. It is important that people share details of those they have been in
direct contact with to help us reduce transmission rates. This service is anonymous.
For more information, please visit: www.doncaster.gov.uk/services/healthwellbeing/
doncaster-s-local-test-and-trace-service

As we head into the autumn/winter period, I would like to thank you all for your continued
support. The next few months may be challenging for us all, but by practicing safer
behaviours and following the latest guidance, we can Do it for Doncaster.

Thank you.

Dr Rupert Suckling

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