Statement from Hounslow’s Director of Public Health, Kelly O’Neill Time to ‘Take Care’ of ourselves and others

With the launch of a new campaign this week to provide on-going information and support to residents and businesses, Kelly O’Neill, Hounslow’s Director of Public Health, has the following advice:

Published: Wednesday, 21st July 2021

Image of Director of Public Health for Hounslow, Kelly O'Neill

“The easing of lockdown restrictions from the 19th July shows significant progress has been made. While this is good news for our communities, businesses and economy, I want everyone to understand that it does not mean the pandemic is over. We are a long way from that. However, we now have to learn to live with COVID-19. 

"Infection numbers in the borough are high, at about 250 per 100,000 people who live in Hounslow. This means that 700 people tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 7 days. This number is increasing and will continue to do so unless we are cautious. 

"The number of people admitted to hospital is also increasing, although not yet at the levels we saw in December and January. Most people who are hospitalised are not fully vaccinated, showing that protection comes with vaccination. Even if vaccinated you can still get infected, but most vaccinated people will be protected from severe health risk. The importance of vaccination is more important than ever now, yet there are still people choosing not to be vaccinated.

"Residents and businesses in the borough have listened and followed the rules. Our workplaces are safer, and as restrictions ease while infection numbers increase, I ask you to be very cautious and continue enforcing COVID-secure measures; to maintain regular testing, social distancing, hand washing, and wearing masks whilst we are seeing this further spike in cases. This all reduces the risk of outbreaks. Residents and employees will be safer, and this help maintain business continuity.

"I ask our residents, people working in the Borough, and employers - if you are not vaccinated and are eligible - to stop and think what it will mean if this current infection surge continues. How safe will you be? If you become unwell, what will that mean for you and your family? 

"If you have questions, ask someone who knows the answer. Ask your GP. Ask me. Ask my team. You can contact me via publichealth@hounslow.gov.uk

As a Borough now is the time for us all to take care of ourselves and others and follow the premises specific guidance. Our new campaign, ‘Take Care, Take 5’, provides information about vaccination and community testing, but it also gives advice about ways to look after your mental and physical health as well as taking care of your finances and employment skills. Visit: www.hounslow.gov.uk/takecare

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