Coronavirus Update – 27.01.21

We remain in National Lockdown: “Stay Home > Protect the NHS > Save Lives.”

The National Lockdown guidelines are summarised in our earlier update here, including a National Lockdown poster here summarising the rules for each sector.

We must not leave, or be outside of our homes except where necessary in a limited set of circumstances. If we do go out under the permitted circumstances, we must still remember “Hands > Face > Space.” It’s vital we all still practice physical distancing, wear masks, and wash our hands or sanitise frequently, whether or not we’ve had a vaccine. Local and national leaders and experts remain consistent in urging each of us to take extra care in this lockdown. We are asked to view the rules as the upper limits, and to reduce the activities outside of our homes to the absolute minimum that is safely possible.

Birmingham City Council’s dashboard of Covid-19 information for the week 16th – 22nd January 2021 can be seen here. There are continued signs this week of the impact of the National Lockdown bringing down case numbers, and it is good to see the rates of testing are improving. However there is still a long way to go to bring the case rate down to the levels we achieved back in the autumn when case rates were down below 200 cases/100,000 people.

Average daily Covid admissions are still over 150 new cases a day across the city’s hospitals. Pressure on the NHS remains very high, and although there are positive signs of case rates improving, this won’t impact on the pressures in the NHS for three to four weeks.

The majority of wards in the city have seen case numbers fall since the previous fortnight, including Moseley which has seen a further decrease of 26%.

Case rates have fallen slightly in all age groups but remain highest in the 30-44yr age group. Spread often happens in the household, but it isn’t inevitable: see this website for advice on limiting spread within homes.

Birmingham City Council encourages all residents to get tested for Covid – even if they don’t have symptoms, and even if you’ve been tested before. Anyone who is unable to work from home, or is in a care or support bubble, should be tested every 3-4 days with lateral flow tests that help identify people who are infectious but don’t have symptoms. Getting tested is a great way to reduce your risk of spreading the virus to friends, loved ones, and the wider community, and helps track the progress of national and local virus-control measures. There are different ways to arrange the test depending on whether or not you have symptoms. See our article here for information on how to arrange tests.

In the latest weekly coronavirus update here, West Midlands council leaders have advised people not to drop their guard while the Covid-19 vaccine programme continues across the region. More information on the rollout of vaccines across Birmingham can be seen in our article here, including information on avoiding vaccine scams. Until the situation eases, even people who have had their vaccine, or recovered from the infection, must continue to follow the National Lockdown and social-distancing guidance.

It’s important we also look after our well-being, and so we encourage everyone to maintain social contacts safely, including by phone or online wherever possible. Birmingham City Council reminds us we can still access our amazing green spaces to help with our well-being.