Coronavirus vaccine, testing and volunteering

With increasing recognition that the world will be living with Covid and variants of coronavirus for months and years to come, many of you will have contributed to the work that we have been undertaking in Staffordshire County Council on what that means for ourselves, and for our communities and businesses. We are expanding that work to include partners in the public, private and third sectors to ensure that we are all considering the implications of how we adapt and return to some form of normality. Richard Harling and I will be presenting a brief summary to the West Midlands Chief Executives and Directors of Public Health this coming Friday. Hopefully their reflections will help us to develop it further.

Meanwhile, the Vaccination Programme has continued apace with almost a quarter of a million residents in Staffordshire receiving their first dose of the vaccine. It does feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel.

We are pressing ahead with Workplace Testing for Staffordshire businesses; many of you will have experienced our own in-house version. I was tested last Wednesday, and had the (thankfully negative) result inside 30 minutes by text. We would like to see a slightly faster uptake in this programme, but there is a careful balance to be struck between compulsion and incentivisation; in Staffordshire we have consistently treated our residents with respect, and trusted in their common sense. It is likely that this is another activity that will become part of the ‘new normal’, and anything we can do to assist in our interactions with other organisations would be greatly appreciated. 

You will recall my publicising our iCount campaign at various times throughout the pandemic, asking for volunteers to assist in hospitals and call centres for contact tracing. As you know, hospital volunteers can get a Covid vaccine, which is hopefully a good incentive. I recognise that we are all tired and such requests are now so commonplace that they don’t have the effect that they had last April, but if you are able to help, please visit the Do It pages.

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