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.
Details were provided of the four tests and the key points of the road map out of lockdown; that the easing of restrictions would be done in four steps with a minimum of five weeks between each step; and that the Stay at Home campaign would continue throughout all stages in the road map.
In relation to the deployment of the vaccine programme in Darlington, it was reported that as of 11 March 2021 34,489 vaccines had been given; 94 per cent of those aged 70 year had received their first dose; and that 37.14 per cent of all adults had received their first dose. Reference was made to the variation in uptake of the vaccine between areas in Darlington, and that the reasons for this variation were being investigated.
In relation to the effectiveness of the vaccine in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated, it was reported that there had been a decrease in the number of COVID emergency admissions and in hospital bed occupancy.
Members were advised that case detection rates were lower than the five year average; the case detection rate in over 60’s had increased from December but remained lower than the younger age groups; and that the seven day case rate was showing a slowing in the rate of new positive cases.
Members were advised that 98.3 per cent of Darlington’s positive cases were the Kent variant.
Details were provided of the cumulative totals for testing in Darlington, including PCR tests, lateral flow tests and school based testing; and the expansion of testing opportunities by the Department for Health and Social Care
Reference was made to the COVID-19 recovery next steps which included the development of a recovery framework, offering the opportunity to align this public health approach with other agendas including economic recovery and climate change; and a health inequalities impact assessment had been undertaken in the North East which had identified vulnerable groups to be considered a part of the recovery plan.
The Chair made reference to the increase in cases in Darlington that had been reported in the media; that this was an increase of 35 cases in the previous week and was attributed to the movement of young people; and that Darlington had been working well in relation to COVID-19.
Discussion ensued on the figures for lateral flow tests and the effectiveness of the vaccine.
RESOLVED – That the thanks of the Board be conveyed to the Director of Public Health for her informative presentation.
REASON – To convey the views of the Board.