As part of their role as a Covid Community Champion, South Shields FC and South Shields FC Foundation today share the following update.

The Easter Bank holiday weekend is now upon us and it is crucial that everyone continues to play their part by adhering to social distancing and hygiene guidance, complementing the roll-out of the vaccination programme and reducing cases of people becoming seriously ill with Covid-19.

As you will be aware, the Government has published a four-step ‘roadmap’ to cautiously ease restrictions across England, while continuing to protect people from Covid-19 and its potentially damaging effects. Each step of the ‘roadmap’ will be assessed against the following four tests before restrictions are lifted:
  1. The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  2. Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
  3. Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
  4. The assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of concern
Based on the latest data, the Prime Minister is confident that the ‘roadmap’ remains on track at this time. Very positively, the latest data demonstrates a clear link between decreasing case numbers and severe illness, and those groups that have been vaccinated.
On Monday (29 March), the next milestone in the roadmap came into effect:
  • ​Outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of either six people (the rule of six) or two households will be allowed, making it easier for friends and families to meet outside
  • ​Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools, will also be allowed to re-open, and people will be able to take part in formally organised outdoor sports
  • ​The ‘stay at home’ rule ended on 29 March but people are encouraged to minimise travel, and when they do travel, to do so safely. People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes
  • ​Travel abroad will continue to be prohibited, other than for a small number of permitted reasons. Holidays abroad will not be allowed, given it will remain important to manage the risk of imported variants and protect the vaccination programme. The Government has launched a new taskforce to review global travel which will report on 12 April
Vaccine Figures
In England 28,991,188 people have now been given a first dose of the vaccine and 2,775,481 people have been given a second dose.

Latest Local Data

There were 130 confirmed Covid-19 cases reported in South Tyneside between the 13-19 March, equating to a rate of 86.1 per 100,000. This was an increase on the 113 reported during the previous week, which equates to a rate of 74.8 per 100,000.

Latest data shows that 70,000 South Tyneside residents have received their first vaccination dose, which equates to 54.5% of those over 18 years old. All over-80s have been offered their first dose, and 39.8% have been offered their second. All those aged 70 and over and care home residents have been offered their first dose. 89.8% of those in their 60s, and two thirds of those in their 50s have received their first dose.

There was a total of 22,335 tests taken by South Tyneside residents between the 13-19 March. Over half of these tests were taken in schools or attributed to school home tests. Just over 20% were taken in care homes and another 20% were taken at testing sites.

Regionally

There were 1,920 confirmed Covid-19 cases reported between the 13-19 March, equating to a rate of 71.9 per 100,000. This was a decrease on the 2,076 reported during the previous week, which equates to a rate of 78 per 100,000.

We are delighted to announce that South Shields FC Foundation has offered its services to South Tyneside Council to help share important information about the vaccination programme and the Government’s roadmap to recovery by becoming a Covid Community Champion.

By joining the South Tyneside network of Covid Community Champions we hope to help keep people safe, reassured and supported in these uncertain times by sharing information and listening to feedback about what people are concerned or confused about.

We’ll be posting information from time to time on the club’s media channels, and we hope it helps.

The images below summarise the stages in the Government’s roadmap to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions in England.

The progression through the stages is subject to four conditions:

  1. The vaccine programme going to plan
  2. Evidence that vaccines are reducing deaths and serious illness
  3. That infection rates do not rise and risk a surge in hospital admissions
  4. That new variants do not change the situation

The plan is to lift restrictions across the whole of England at the same time. There will be a minimum of five weeks between each step: four weeks for the scientific data to reflect the changes in restrictions and to be analysed, followed by one week’s advance notice of the restrictions that will be eased.

RAPID LATERAL FLOW TESTS

The following people in England have access to regular rapid lateral flow testing made available to them now schools and colleges have reopened:

– Secondary school pupils and college students
– Staff of primary and secondary schools and colleges
– Households, childcare and support bubbles of primary and secondary-age pupils and college students
– Households, childcare and support bubbles of staff of primary and secondary schools and colleges

If you’re a member of a household, childcare bubble of a pupil, student or staff of a school or college, you can get a twice-weekly test:

– Through your employer if they offer testing to employees
– At a local test site
– By collecting a home test kit from a test site –  Chuter Ede test site or at the former Jarrow Library. You can collect two packs of home test kits at a local collection point. Each pack contains seven tests. Anyone 18 or over can collect. No ID is needed. Collection points are open from 1.30pm to 7pm. You do not need to make an appointment.

Do you have questions about the vaccine?
Send them to us and we will do our best to answer them: covidchamps@southtyneside.gov.uk

Useful links

See the latest Government guidance here: gov.uk/coronavirus.

Find COVID-19 Information from the NHS: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/