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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 new measures being brought in across England.

Published: Thursday, 24th September 2020

Image of Kelly O'Neill, Director of Public Health

"Many of you will have heard the announcement from the Prime Minster on Tuesday 22 September where he addressed the nation to explain the new measures being brought in across England.

"These measures have been put in place to help slow the spread of the virus, cases of which are currently rising exponentially. The measures will help save lives, control the increased demand on our hospitals and we hope will prevent the need for greater restrictions or a lockdown. It’s everyone's responsibility to familiarise ourselves with this latest guidance. We must not put our health at risk or return to where we were earlier this year when lives are at stake. Ignoring this guidance is making a choice to put other people at risk.

"This week (commencing 21 September) we have seen the rate of coronavirus infection in Hounslow reduce from a high of 37 cases per 100,000 people last week to 25 cases per 100,000 people this week. These figures do not reflect a fully accurate picture and are based on positive cases of people who have been able to get tested. We know that the current testing provision in London isn’t able to offer tests to everyone who needs one. What we do know, and what matters, is that cases are rising rapidly across London as a whole, and more people are needing hospital treatment.

"The new rules in place will see restaurants and bars close at 10pm and people who are able to work from home, being asked to do so. Everyone must observe the rule of six – no gatherings inside and out. Please don’t break the rules. They have been imposed to address rising infection levels and you will be fined if you are found to be ignoring them.

"We must all do our bit to protect the vulnerable people in our borough. Even if you are in a lower risk age group, and not as worried about coronavirus symptoms, please keep Hounslow safe for everyone by following government advice on social distancing, self-isolation, wearing face coverings in crowded spaces (inside and out) and practising good hand hygiene; if we do this we contribute to keeping coronavirus at bay.

"Don’t forget how awful things were during the peak of the first wave. We saw 238 people die in Hounslow and hundreds more were seriously sick, many of whom are still suffering the ill effects.

"With the winter months approaching, it is important we get on top of this! If you are eligible for a free flu vaccine, go and get vaccinated and help protect Hounslow from the double threat of flu and coronavirus. This year, the programme is being expanded to help protect more people from flu and ease pressure on the NHS and urgent care services.

"Thank you for helping to keep Hounslow safe."

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