The coronavirus pandemic has impacted on all residents in Croydon. People have lost loved ones; children have missed school; communities have been isolated and employment has been lost. As we move into the next stage of the government’s road map, we want to ensure that residents in Croydon are equipped with the knowledge and resources to do so safely.
At a local level, Croydon is being challenged by rapidly rising cases and hospital admissions from COVID-19. We still have nearly 100,000 people aged 18 to 49 who have not had any COVID-19 vaccination, increasing the potential for infection to circulate in the community. To protect our borough, as director of public health, I encourage all our residents and visitors to approach the lifting of restrictions cautiously by:
- Continuing to wearing face coverings in crowded indoor areas where social distancing cannot be followed, such as shops, supermarkets, council buildings, on public transport, in faith settings and in health settings, such as care homes, hospitals, and GP surgeries. This will help the most vulnerable people feel safe and comfortable to access the care and support that they need.
- Being aware of COVID symptoms - the main symptoms of COVID-19 are a high temperature, a new continuous cough or loss or change to sense of smell or taste. Anyone with these symptoms must stay at home and book a PCR test. You can find out how to access PCR tests here.
- Keep getting tested – Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 don’t have symptoms but can still infect others, so getting tested regularly will help slow the spread. Everyone should undertake twice weekly rapid symptom free testing using Lateral Flow Tests (LFT). You can find out how to access LFT here.
- Get fully vaccinated – it’s shown to be safe and effective against the virus, including new variants and is the best way to keep yourself from getting seriously ill. It also reduces your risk of passing the virus on to someone else. You can find out about booking a vaccine and local walk in clinics here. We’re continuing to work with the NHS to ensure everyone in Croydon gets vaccinated as quickly as possible.
I support employees continuing to work from home where it is possible to do so and I also recommend that all workplaces continue to ensure COVID-safe measures are in place, including the provision of hand-washing facilities and proper ventilation with external fresh air. Maintaining existing COVID-control measures in high risk settings, such as care homes, will protect vulnerable people. This includes the use of face coverings, which will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, with guidance updated as required.