COVID-19 update from Dr Will Maimaris, Director of Public Health
The emergence of the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron is understandably causing concern for people locally and beyond. We are concerned about this new variant as early evidence suggests it spreads easily and the COVID vaccines may be less effective. We still need to learn more about the new variant, and at the moment the number of Omicron cases in the UK is low
The Government has announced the following changes to the national COVID response:
- Face coverings are now mandatory on all public transport, in all shops and there is changed guidance for the use of masks in educational settings.
- All contacts of suspected Omicron cases contacted by Test and Trace must self-isolate regardless of their age and whether or not they are fully vaccinated. This is unlikely at the moment as cases remain low of the new variant.
The Delta variant is still the dominant variant in the UK, and cases are rising, in Haringey as elsewhere across the UK. The latest weekly data reports 965 new cases in Haringey alone.
As we prepare for the festive season, none of us want to see any further restrictions introduced and we can all play our part in reducing transmission.
- Getting your Covid-19 vaccination is the most important protective measure you can take.
- Please continue to test regularly using lateral flow tests, particularly before going into crowded or confined spaces, or meeting with people who are more at risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19, even if they have been vaccinated. Testing will help detect asymptomatic Covid-19 infection and help reduce spread of the virus.
- If you have symptoms of Covid-19, however mild, you need to get a PCR test and isolate for 10 days if you test positive.
- Regular hand washing, social distancing, and keeping indoor spaces well ventilated will help reduce spread of infection.
Extension of the booster programme
This week the government announced that all eligible people over the age of 18 will be offered the booster dose before the end of January, with the interval between the 2nd jab and the booster reduced to 3 months.
It was also recommended that 12- to 15-year-olds should receive a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine no sooner than 12 weeks after their first dose.
The NHS is awaiting national guidance on when it will be able to open up to these cohorts in the coming days. For the time being, please don't come for your booster unless you're over 40 and 6months+ since your 2nd jab.
It’s never too late to get your first or second dose, if you haven’t yet. There is an ongoing schedule of local vaccine clinics, pre-bookable and walk-in, where you will be very welcome to attend.
Please visit: www.haringey.gov.uk/vaccine for more details.
You can book an appointment using the National Booking System (external link) or by calling 119 free of charge.
Thank you for playing your part to Keep Haringey Safe
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