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Sheffield to receive ‘enhanced support’ from Government to combat Covid-19

Sheffield Town Hall

The Government has designated Sheffield as an area of ‘enhanced support’. Being named an area of ‘enhanced support’ means that Sheffield is now on the second rung of a three-step ladder on the Government's 'watchlist', and we are in line to receive extra support to help us reduce the number of cases in our city.

The watchlist levels are:

  • An area of concern is the lowest level, where local officials take targeted actions to reduce infection numbers
  • An area of enhanced support is described as being at medium or high risk of intervention and means having a detailed, nationally agreed plan in place with additional government support
  • An area of intervention is the highest level, where there is a "divergence" between the local measures in place to control the spread of coronavirus and national restrictions across England

This means we will be in receipt of additional support to prevent further spread of the virus in our city with particular support given to mitigate infection rates amongst areas with higher case rates. Sheffield has higher rates than we would like to see in our region, but we have continued to monitor this situation very carefully. We have a very good understanding of the dynamics of transmission in our communities and extra help from Government is welcomed. This may come in the form of additional testing units and support from expertise in how the virus is spreading in our communities and testing data. But further restrictions are not out of the question if it means we are to keep our residents and our city safe.

Director of Public Health at Sheffield City Council, Greg Fell, said:

“Sheffield is still very much in the grip of a pandemic, it is clear we are not out of the woods yet, and as such we need to keep playing our part to keep each other safe as the pandemic continues to have a presence in our communities.  We are trying to balance the impact of a dangerous virus with getting back to some form of normal, but if we continue to see a rise in cases, we will be designated an area of intervention with far stricter measures in place.

“The virus is very easily transmitted and as we have seen from earlier in the year carries a significant mortality risk. This is why it is still important to go back to basics; to keep washing your hands, wearing a face covering, limit social contact and to isolate if you have covid-19 symptoms.

“We welcome the decision to make Sheffield an area of enhanced support. This is all about support, not restrictions at this point in time. There will not be extra rules affecting how any of us live and work in the city.

“I would reassure our residents that Sheffield is still a safe place in which to live, work and visit. The extra measures mean we can now draw on additional Government support, to obtain swifter data and testing, to support our local efforts.

“Thank you to everyone in the city who has been following advice on hand washing and social distancing, which has ensured that we do not have a serious, wider problem across our communities.“If you are contacted by test and trace, please isolate for the stated period and get tested as soon as possible if you have symptoms. You will be playing a crucial part in keeping coronavirus under control.”

As we live in the presence of Covid-19, we continue to ask everyone to act responsibly. We know and appreciate the frustration and repetitiveness that has surrounded the Covid-19 safety messages out there. However, if we are to keep everyone safe, these messages bear repeating as they are vital in keeping you, our communities and our family and friends safe.

Our efforts to slow the spread of the virus locally needs your help. We are doing all we can to prevent any further lockdowns, and the safety of our city and our residents remains our priority, but we cannot do this in isolation. Prevention is a citywide effort.

The best action is what you take; to wash your hands, wear a face covering and keep your distance.  Going back to basics is the best way to combat the virus and limit the spread of the disease. If you have Covid-19 symptoms, resist going to the shops or visiting the pub with your friends. At some point we might all be asked to self-isolate because we develop symptoms, or because we are a contact of a case. This is THE most important thing you can do to reduce spread. It does mean isolate. It is worth thinking through a plan in advance around supplies of food, essentials, medicines. Stay at home and book a test as soon as you can. The more contact we have, the more likely the virus will spread.

Limiting social contacts is not ideal as we want to see our friends and family, but it is important. Keep your distance, wear a face covering, wash your hands. If you really want to protect others, isolate and get tested if you get symptoms. It’s vital that we take responsibility for our own safety first if we are to protect others. We must adhere to the guidance, to remind our friends, families and colleagues of why staying safe is so important.

The important messages to take away from this and ways that we can all do our bit to help prevent the spread of the virus, are:

    • Stay at home if you have symptoms, even if they are mild (this is what makes the most difference). We know that 50% of people with symptoms don’t stay at home so this is the biggest difference you can make.
    • Keep your distance, 2m where possible.
    • Wash your hands with soap and hot water.
    • Wear a face covering in enclosed indoor spaces.
    • Don’t be a contact and avoid the need to isolate.
    • If you have symptoms, GET A TEST.
    • If you are asked to isolate, it does mean you must stay at home.

In order to reduce the rate of people contracting the virus, people still need to get a test if they have symptoms, so please, if you have any of the following symptoms, arrange a test here

    • A high temperature
    • A new, continuous cough
    • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste