'Covid is still circulating in Sunderland' public health boss issues warning

Sunderland City Council’s health boss has warned that covid is still circulating in communities as lockdown is set to ease.

Friday, 14th May 2021, 5:16 pm

Sunderland residents are being urged not to ;undo the city’s good work; as pubs and restaurants are expected to be given the green light to welcome customers back indoors and families allowed to meet indoors from Monday, May 17.

Figures are among the lowest they have been since last summer in Sunderland, with just 33 cases recorded in the past seven days.

However Sunderland City Council’s Executive Director of Public Health and Integrated Commissioning Gerry Taylor warned: “Covid is still circulating in the community and nationally we continue to see new variants emerging.

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Gerry Taylor, director of Public Health at Sunderland City Council
Gerry Taylor, director of Public Health at Sunderland City Council

"Just this week we have had more cases of the Indian variant being found in the North East. While our region currently has the lowest percentage of this particular strain of all the regions in England, it’s more important than ever that we don’t become complacent.”

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People should stick to the advice on hygiene and ventilation, ensure they got both doses of the vaccine, and self-isolated and got tested if they have symptoms.

Regular testing was critical to help identify people carrying the virus without realising, she said: “This will become even more important as we get out and about more and begin to mix in larger numbers such as at organised events.

“Although we can make a personal choice on whether we keep our distance from family and friends, we know the virus transmits through direct contact so I would urge people to restrict this to a small number of people and think about keeping their distance from anyone who hasn't been fully vaccinated or has other vulnerabilities.

"It's still safer to meet outdoors and if you meet indoors, having a window open can make a real difference.

"Wider social distancing in places like shops, hospitality, business and medical settings remains in place. "The very last thing we want to do now is to undo all the hard work and the sacrifices we've all made over the last year, so I would ask everyone to remember to follow the guidance that's there to protect us."

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