Community in Great Yarmouth urged to continue efforts to control Covid-19 as cases drop
Thank you and let's keep up our efforts to control coronavirus - that's the message to the community of Great Yarmouth from two Norfolk councils following a marked reduction in the borough's Covid-19 infection rate.
When data 10 days ago showed a trend of rising transmission rates within the community, Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Norfolk County Council responded swiftly with partners, implementing their multi-agency action plan to curb the spread and avoid any additional restrictions on lives and livelihoods.
With the rising trend not linked to any particular outbreaks or groups, the response focussed on a concerted and ongoing programme of enhanced communications and engagement activity with the whole community, asking everyone to play their part and consistently follow the public health rules so the rise in cases could be controlled.
After peaking at 99.6 cases per 100,000 people, Great Yarmouth's figures since Friday have reduced, with the latest figure being 74.49 per 100,000 people for the period September 30 to October 6. Whilst we have seen a stabilising of the numbers, the virus is still circulating and we need to remain on high alert. People are reminded of the continued importance of social distancing, sticking to the Rule of 6, wearing a face-covering in indoor public places, and self-isolating and getting tested if symptomatic.
Last week alone, the multi-agency team visited more than 350 businesses to check procedures, posted advice leaflets at 3,500 homes in areas with a high incidence rate, engaged with residents out and about, and visited 210 higher risk properties including HMOs to hand out leaflets and put up posters in communal areas.
The councils also launched the Protect Great Yarmouth campaign, which included posters delivered to virtually every business in the borough, posters put up in shop windows, on buses and in taxis. High profile banners carrying the latest guidance were put up, and social media videos appealing to the whole community were posted from the council leader, the mayor, college students, the hospital and other key partners.
Campaign materials were also shared with business groups, community groups, colleges and the CCG for them to help distribute via their channels. The local media have been supportive and engaging, which has assisted in getting the message across to local residents and visitors.
Cllr Carl Smith, the council leader, said: "Working with the county council, other districts, Voluntary Norfolk and other partners, we have led a monumental team effort to get those figures back down, which has been praised at a national level, and I would like to thank everyone involved and especially the community as we continue our critical appeal to take extra care in following the public health advice.
"Thank you to everyone, but please let's keep up our collective efforts, follow the rules and not get complacent. While figures have dropped and we're continuing our response activity, the virus is still within our community, there is still the reality of further cases related to settings outbreaks, and our numbers as a borough will continue to fluctuate. However, if we all play our part in managing our individual and collective risk, together we can help control the virus, protect ourselves, protect others and protect Great Yarmouth."
Cllr Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council, said: "Great Yarmouth's people and communities have been working hard together to stop the spread of Covid and we need that to continue. Partnership working has been excellent."