COVID-19 infection rates have been doubling every five days in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole so BCP Council is stepping up warnings to residents, to reinforce the message that they must stay at home.
Postcards are being sent to 185,000 households explaining how serious the picture is locally, backed with additional information on the latest local case rates in e-bulletins, social media and other communications.
The threat from COVID-19 has never been greater locally. In the latest published seven-day data, 786 people in every 100,000 people have COVID-19 in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole – more than double the number the week before (Data for 7-day period ending 5 January 2021)
Since New Year’s Day, someone has been admitted to hospital with COVID-19 every hour in the local area, and someone has died every six hours.
Councillor Nicola Greene, Portfolio Holder for COVID-19 Resilience and Public Health, said:
“COVID-19 is currently spreading in our local area at an alarming rate. As a community, we must act to stop the spread of this deadly virus and the simplest action we can all take is to stay at home. Transmission between households is now the primary way in which COVID-19 is spreading in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, so we must not visit others or allow others into our homes if we are to stop the spread.
“Our local hospitals are seeing a record number of patients with COVID-19, including in the under 60s age group, with a high number of people very seriously ill on ventilators.”
In light of rising local case rates, the council is also reviewing its own services, to consider whether further service suspensions are needed to reduce the likelihood of people leaving home. Services are being managed in line with the latest Government lockdown guidelines, but further services may close if the risk becomes too great.
Councillor Drew Mellor, Leader of BCP Council, said:
“Our immediate priority last week was to comply with government guidelines in terms of which services can and cannot operate. We are now looking carefully at all those services which can continue, to ask ourselves whether they really should. We will be looking at detailed data to inform our decisions, including pedestrian numbers, beach hut usage, library click and collect take up and takeaway sales, to determine whether it is right that services continue in the current climate.”