Presentation by Director of Public Health
The Director of Public Health gave a presentation updating Members on the COVID-19 situation in Darlington.
In introducing the presentation, the Director of Public Health advised Members of the current rate of infection in Darlington, which, as of 10 April 2021, was 34.6 per 100,000 and was an improvement on previous figures.
Updates were provided on the four tests that must be met for England to progress through the stages of the Governments road map out of lockdown.
Regarding Test 1 - The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully, Members noted that as of 8 April 2021, 53,349 residents had received their first dose of vaccine; 95 per cent of 65 years and over had received their first dose of vaccine; and 8939 adults had received their second dose of vaccine.
In respect of Test 2 - Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated, it was reported that County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust bed occupancy rate had continued to decline; and 1.6 per cent of hospital beds were occupied by COVID-19 patients.
Regarding Test 3 - Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS, Members noted that rates of cases in those aged 60 had continued to decline; and in respect of Test 4 - Our assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern, it was reported that that 100 per cent of all positive cases that were genotyped showed the Kent variant to be present.
Details were provided of the stages of the Road Map; and the longer term impacts of COVID were outlined along with the UK Recovery Strategy.
Following a question, the Public Health Principal advised Members that Darlington had the second highest infection rate in the Tees Valley, however numbers of infections were low; that due to Darlington’s population, when compared to other authorities, a small increase in case numbers resulted in a larger rate increase; and Members were assured that there was a downward trend in the infection rates for Darlington.
Discussion ensued in respect self-isolation and concerns that this was not being adhered by some residents that tested positive for COVID-19; Members were pleased to note the intentions for in depth work on self-isolation with a focus on support available to residents; and that Darlington were part of a local tracing partnership with NHS track and trace which enabled residents to be directed to local support to help during isolation.
Members also noted the expansion of the testing programme; and that infection rates would be monitored closely as progression through the stages of the road map continued.
RESOLVED – That the Director of Public Health be thanked for her update on COVID-19 in Darlington.