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Statement from Kelly O'Neill, Director of Public Health at Hounslow Council

Message from Kelly O'Neill, Director of Public Health at Hounslow Council about the rising cases in Hounslow over the last seven days

Published: Thursday, 17th September 2020

Image of Kelly O'Neill, Director of Public Health

"Coronavirus cases in Hounslow and across London are continuing to rise. We must work together to bring these numbers down, control the spread of the virus, and continue to protect people who are vulnerable to severe symptoms of the virus. These vulnerable people will be members of our family, our friends and our neighbours for whom catching the virus could be serious and need hospital care. We must not allow a return to the high numbers of people in hospital we had between April and May – with your help we can avoid this.

"The rise in numbers has coincided with the easing of lockdown restrictions, the start of the school term, of working-aged people returning to their workplaces and people socialising. Similar to the national picture, the majority of our cases are working age adults aged between 20 and 50. As of Wednesday 16 September, there were 88 people who have had a confirmed positive test in the last seven days, and this number is increasing even though access to testing is proving to be a challenge.

"Our rate is still below the figure where a local lockdown would be considered, but it is one of the highest rates in London. None of us want to see more restrictions in place, we need to be able to carry on our daily routine, keep our children safely in school, and support our shops and local businesses. We can all play our part to help keep Hounslow open for business. Unless you are exempt, please wear a face covering when you’re inside public spaces or out and about and can’t maintain a 2 metre distance, and remember to wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds. We have beautiful green spaces in our borough, but it is crucial that you don’t meet up in groups of more than six people, unless they are from your household or social bubble. Don’t be the one to break the rules they have been imposed to address rising infection levels and you can be fined if you are found to be breaking them.

"If you develop symptoms of the virus, please immediately self-isolate and book a test. If you cannot get a test, please be responsible and self-isolate – this is really important. The national testing programme is struggling to manage the high demand for Covid-19 tests. It’s important that if you don’t have symptoms, and have not been advised to take a test that you don’t book one – tests need to be prioritised for people who are symptomatic. I know this is frustrating for everyone.  

"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the majority of residents who have been following the guidance, and shown so much resilience and community spirit throughout this crisis. Let’s continue to work together to keep Hounslow safe."

 

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