People are being urged to continue to work together to follow the rules on Covid-19 – and help to save lives.
The appeal by the Director of Public Health in Nottingham, Alison Challenger, follows a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in the city – increasing from 128 in the week up to 20 September to 228 cases in the week up to 27 September.
Every ward in the city is seeing an increase in cases, matching the rising trend in confirmed cases of Covid-19 nationally.
Ms Challenger moved to assure residents that all partners are working together with a single aim: to stop the spread of Covid-19 in Nottingham.
She said: “Clearly we want to halt this rise but it’s worth noting that this remains low compared to many cities our size, thanks to the fact that most people living in Nottingham are following the correct behaviours and playing their part in keeping our city safe.
“With the large number of students arriving at our two universities – increasing the size of our local population by around 40,000 – a corresponding increase in Covid-19 cases in Nottingham was to be expected. However, we are working with partners to ensure we take the right precautions.”
The council is working alongside Nottinghamshire Police, the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University to ensure the correct measures are taken.
Ms Challenger added: “We are reaching a critical point in managing the spread of the virus as we head towards winter. Now is the time for everyone to help our city. There is no vaccine for Covid-19 at present. The only defence we have is to maintain social distance, follow the Rule of Six, wear a face covering and wash our hands.”
When breaches in these rules do occur, partners are already taking action:
- Police are tackling people who break the Rule of Six
- Community Protection and Environmental Health officers are enforcing the 10pm curfew in pubs and bars
- Community Protection Officers are confiscating alcohol from people gathering in the streets, particularly after the 10pm curfew
- The two universities have funding for additional patrols, with security visiting incidents overnight
ACC Kate Meynell from Nottinghamshire Police added: “I would like to reiterate our thanks to all the people who are complying with the rules and are making sure they protect their own health and that of other people.
“The vast majority of people are doing this across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire and the impact is that we are still relatively low numbers in comparison to other places in terms of Covid cases. Clearly this could change at any point and that is why I would echo what our partners are saying and urging residents, including our newly returned student population, to keep on complying with the rules. We will still be using the four E’s approach which is to engage, explain, encourage and enforce only as a last resort. Where people deliberately flout the rules we will not hesitate to issue people with fines, as has been well publicised already.”
Universities are working around the clock to support students. Clear guidance has been communicated on what to do if they exhibit symptoms and how to isolate, inform the universities and book a test.
Students are being supported to self-isolate in their households or halls of residence and to follow the correct procedures to protect other members of their communities. The universities are providing food parcels, welfare support and regular updates.
Nottingham is also one of a handful of cities to have a dedicated university testing service to identify transmission among students and staff, which will allow us to reduce potential spread of Covid-19.
The guidance is clear that everyone should:
- maintain a safe social distance
- wear a face covering
- wash their hands regularly
- Observe the Rule of 6 and the 10pm curfew
- get a test if they have symptoms (call 119 or visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus)
Anyone who is concerned about breaches of Covid-19 should call 101.