THURROCK’S newly appointed director of public health has revealed Covid-19 cases have fallen overall in Thurrock but there are rising numbers of cases in the over-60s and in schools reports the Local Democracy Reporter.
Jo Broadbent, gave Thurock Clinical Commissioning Group an update at their latest governing board meeting.
She said: “Covid’s not gone away and after the restrictions being lifted in mid-August we did see and increase in rates which was probably somewhat predictable. For the past ten days or so our rates have been falling back down a bit and are now about 220 per 100,000 having peaked a couple of weeks ago 330 per 100,000 so that’s good news.
“We’ve seen over the past couple of months higher case rates in our over-60s than we’ve seen for some time which we are keeping an eye on. It’s now about 125 per 100,000 for the over 60s so its not high numbers but higher than we would want.
Children returning to the classroom at the start of the month has seen an increase in cases, with more than a dozen schools currently battling cases.
Ms Broadbent added: “The highest case rates at the moment are among the 11-18-year-olds. With schools going back that’s not particularly surprising and we are seeing a certain amount of disruption in schools at the moment.
“We’ve got 14 schools in a live outbreak and five schools recovering from an outbreak. We are working with schools and supporting them but given the lifting of restrictions it’s actually quite difficult to put additional things in place but we continue to support them.”
After hearing about the increase in cases in the over-60s Dr Anand Deshpande wanted to know if hospital admissions were rising or more people were being treated in the community.
He said: “What would be interesting is how many are having clinical issues and admissions, those are the ones we want to know.
“If they are landing in the hospital or they are having some procedures done or they require oxygen that’s where the issue will come into the picture so that information would be more helpful.
Ms Broadbent replied: “I don’t have the information to hand of the epidemiological break down of who is getting more serious covid and who has been hospitalised.”
Chairman Anil Kallil said the issue was important because primary care is currently carrying the burden of covid.
He said: “It does have a direct impact on our primary and community care and probably even social care as well.
These patients are not bad enough to get admitted to the hospital but they are unwell, many of them staying in the community, so you would expect a knock on effect.
“That’s where the issue lies. We always say the number of patients in hospital is so high that we all start worrying about over-burdening the NHS but when this situation comes we are not that much into over-burdening our community services and primary care.”