Message from Cllr Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council
Published: Friday, 28th August 2020
I’m pleased to report that, after the localised spikes in cases of coronavirus we experienced earlier this month, we are now back to the previous low and steady rate in the borough. Our cases per 100,000 currently stands at about 11. This equates to fewer than 30 positive cases reported in the last seven days, and at this time is below the average for northwest London.
I’d like to say a big thank you to the people in the affected areas, particularly Heston, Cranford and Hounslow, who responded quickly to our targeted communications and call to action, both in terms of abiding by social distancing guidance and getting tested locally. About 1,000 people were tested over just two days at the mobile sites in Heston and Hanworth.
This demonstrates clearly how we can work together to control the spread of this deadly infection and protect our friends, family and most vulnerable residents. I also want to thank our Community Champions, faith leaders and voluntary organisations for their assistance in quickly sharing important information and advice with their communities.
The recent rapid increase in cases is a harsh reminder that we can't be complacent. The virus can spread rapidly and without symptoms; no one wants to be the one who makes a vulnerable friend or relative sick. Had we not taken swift action together we could have seen widespread community infection spread.
We will continue to respond strongly and intervene quickly, though proportionately, to contain localised outbreaks. Increases can grow exponentially if left unchecked, spreading rapidly across the borough and putting more lives in danger and heightening the risk of a lockdown. The situation is monitored daily and we are kept abreast of the latest data provided by Public Health England. Further measures will be implemented if and wherever local outbreaks occur.
There is no one single metric or magic number which dictates specific interventions or move to a local lockdown. Decisions take into account many factors, such whether outbreak numbers are within an extended family or a wider community setting. The most important factor is whether an increasing infection rate is a clear risk to health and demand for critical care.
Where we do take localised action we will, as far as possible, explain the reasons as we all need to understand why and work together for our communities.
We must all continue to play our part and act responsibly to control the spread. This will become more important as we enter autumn and winter as it’s thought cooler weather could lead to a resurgence of the disease. We should never forget how awful the situation was for many of our residents earlier this year. More than 230 people lost their lives and thousands of others became seriously ill.
Please continue to follow all Government advice:
- Keep your distance – 2m from others not in your household where possible
- Wash your hands, or use hand sanitiser, regularly and for at least 20 seconds, especially when you get home.
- Don’t touch your face when you’re are not in your home.
- Wear a face covering in shops and supermarkets, on public transport and when in other indoor spaces where keeping apart from others isn’t possible. Please always take a face covering with you when you leave your home in case you need to use it.
- Get a free test if you have any symptoms - a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
- Stay at home if you have symptoms, test positive for the virus, or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive.
More information at www.hounslow.gov.uk/coronavirus