The Office for National Statistics has reported that Covid infections are on the way down, with the infection rate for England now one in 20; down from one in 17 in the previous week.
Hospital cases are also decreasing, with admissions in England of people with Covid at 16.3 per 100,000 in the seven days to July 24, down from 18.2 the previous week.
Many of the recent infections are caused by fast-spreading sub-variants of Omicron Covid, called BA.4 and BA.5. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) reports that Omicron BA.5 has become the dominant Covid variant in the UK.
Despite the downward trend of both Covid infection rates and hospitalisations, the UKHSA say there is no room for complacency. People aged 75 and over and those with underlying conditions remain at risk of severe infection because of the waning immunity from booster vaccinations, often delivered some months ago.
How long does Covid last?
With the cessation of widespread testing, it is important for those developing Covid symptoms – such as temperature, continuous cough, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, headaches and muscle pains – to know how long they might be contagious. Recent studies are not definitive. At the School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, research has shown that many people with Covid remain infectious well into the second week after the start of symptoms. Data suggest that 10 days is a general rule of thumb for recovery to a stage when people should no longer be contagious. However, separate studies reported in the British Medical Journal have found that some people are contagious for much longer.
This points to the continued need for the rather “unfashionable” wearing of face coverings in crowded and enclosed spaces.
At the Rye Vaccination Centre we have been talking to NHS England and the Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group about the future operation. In outline it will be:
– the Rye (Tilling Green) Centre will open only two days in August on the afternoons of August 4 and 11
– a new contract will start on September 1 for the next phase of vaccinations (phase 5), which it is hoped will deliver an improved vaccine better able to defend against the new variants. Several manufacturers are working to update vaccines. From September, patients will be called in priority order, starting with those over 80, health, care workers and those with vulnerabilities. There will be a minimum period required between the next boosters and earlier jabs, which is expected to be 91 days. Other age groups will follow as before.
To cope with the expected demand, from September, the Rye centre will open four days every week, Saturday to Tuesday, with timings to be confirmed. Bookings will be preferred to allow sufficient vaccine to be ordered.
The Tilling Green centre remains the “Rye centre”. Should there be another facility in Rye during phase 5, such as by Day Lewis, that will be the “Rye High Street” facility.
Clarity Chemists continue to provide the Rye centre at the former Tilling Green School, with support from a dedicated band of volunteers, who have been committed since May 2021.
NHS booking link
Image Credits: Anthony Kimber .