England has moved to Step 4 of the Roadmap meaning guidance emphasising personal judgement and responsibility takes the place of the majority of legal COVID restrictions. We need to remain cautious and remember that the pandemic is not yet over. We must still work together to continue to carefully manage the virus over the coming months. For more information about Step 4 and how you can do your bit to stay safe, please see the gov.uk website here.
Across Birmingham, the number of cases increased by 1,133 cases compared with last week (6,127 cases this week compared to 4,994 last week). All wards in Birmingham reported new cases this week, and total cases rose in all age groups.
Hospital admissions ranged between 28 and 61 new cases a day for the week across the hospitals in the city (total = 300), 38% higher than last week’s numbers of between 25 and 40 new daily cases (total = 218). The average number of daily hospital admissions has been steadily increasing over the last month. There were 5 deaths from COVID—19 this week in Birmingham, down from 10 in the previous week.
The percentage of positive tests has increased, as have the overall rates of testing. All adults who don’t have symptoms should now be testing twice a week using the rapid lateral flow tests. You can order free at-home tests here, and testing kits are also available at our local network of community pharmacies.
Spread appears to be primarily occurring through household, social and workplace interactions, but it isn’t inevitable and www.germdefence.org can help.
People aged 18 and over are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Those who are eligible will be contacted by the NHS to book their vaccination, or you can book a vaccination, or manage an existing appointment, here. You can also schedule your vaccination by calling 119. Walk-in vaccination clinics are still taking place at locations across Birmingham and Solihull for first doses and those eligible to receive a second dose; the locations and times can be checked here.