Agenda item

COVID-19 in Darlington

Presentation by Director of Public Health


The Director of Public Health and Public Health Principal gave a presentation updating Members on Covid-19 in Darlington and in doing so reinforced the campaign in relation to Hands, Face, Space.


Details were provided of the five measures used to assess the Tier levels; case detection rates in all age groups; case detection rates in over 60’s; rate of cases falling or rising; positivity rate; and pressure on the NHS; that Darlington remained in Tier 3 following the announcement by Government.


In relation to case detection rates, it was reported that cases peaked in the second wave on 15 November with 361 cases per 100k and that the current rate was 197 cases per 100k; and that whilst the rate was still in decline, it was slowing. The 80-89 and 90+ age groups had seen an increase in the number of cases in the last fourteen days, and that this increase was largely attributed to outbreak in care homes. The case detection rates in the over 60’s was trending downwards; and the positivity rate in Darlington was currently 9.4 per cent which was higher than the North East and England


In relation to pressure on the NHS, it was reported that the rate of admissions was showing a slight increase; and that bed occupancy and ICU occupancy had peaked in November and was starting to decline.


Members were advised that case rates across Darlington and the Tees Valley had decreased between 1 and 8 December 2020; there was an active outbreak in a care home in Whinfield; and that a multi-disciplinary outbreak control team was in place to monitor outbreaks in Darlington. Members also noted that Care Homes had reported 36 outbreaks since March 2020; and household transmission was the greatest source of positive cases in Darlington.


Following the announcement that the Government had placed Darlington in Tier 3, details were provided on the government guidance in relation to this Tier; Darlington would remain in Tier 3 for at least two weeks until the next review. Reference was also made to the new government guidance regarding the ‘Christmas bubble’; the community lateral flow testing, which was underway in Darlington; and the Covid-19 vaccination programme was outlined.


Reference was made to the work of the Public Health team in supporting education settings in Darlington throughout the pandemic; and the work of officers in setting up the community testing site.


Discussion ensued on the vaccination programme; the Chief Executive Officer, Primary Care Network advised Members that the vaccination would be rolled out after Christmas and that the over 80’s would be the first to receive the vaccine; GP’s would be making contact with the relevant people when the vaccine was available; NHS staff would receive the vaccine once all Darlington residents over the age of 80 had received it, of which there were 5000 residents; and that a robust process was in place to provide the vaccine to care homes residents once national approval had been given.


RESOLVED – (a) That the thanks of the Board be conveyed to the Director of Public Health and Public Health Principal, for their informative presentation.


(b) That the thanks of the Board be conveyed to the Public Health team for their work during the pandemic.


REASON – To convey the views of the Board.

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