The number of COVID cases in Solihull remains stubbornly high - there were 858 cases in Solihull in the 7 days to 17 November, a rate of 394.5 per 100k, up 13% in the last week so it is still very much with us.
We have also just heard in the news about a new and potentially concerning variant. There are as yet no known cases in the UK but it is a reminder how the virus can continue to challenge us all.
We are seeing record numbers coming forward for vaccination. If you’re yet to come forward, please join the:
- 84.8% of people in Solihull aged 16+ who have now received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine
- The 80.5% of people who have received two doses
- The 70.4% of eligible people who have received their booster.
- The 41.6% of 12-15 year olds who have received their first dose.
It is never too late to come forward for your first dose of vaccination and lots of people continue to do so each week. This is great news so please do encourage anyone you know who has not been vaccinated to do so. Even if they have had COVID, vaccine gives your immune system an extra boost.
Vaccination is very clearly reducing the number of older people who get very ill. Over 85% of people severely ill in hospital are unvaccinated or only partly vaccinated. This includes people in younger age groups.
Vaccination is particularly important as we head into the festive season and see a welcome return to many outdoor events such as this year’s public menorah lighting in the town centre on Monday (29 November). However, the current variant spreads very easily and you can still catch and transmit COVID after vaccination so please do everything you can to stay safe.
We’ve made getting your vaccine in Solihull even easier by working with the NHS to open a 7 day a week vaccination service on the High Street, open for booked and walk-in appointments. Our local GPs also offer vaccination, seeing over 4,000 people each week for COVID and flu vaccinations.
It’s common sense to take a rapid lateral flow test (even if you are fully vaccinated) before going to events and meeting other people to check that you haven’t unknowingly got the virus. It’s also sensible to wear a mask in crowded indoor spaces so do keep this up.
Tests can be accessed locally in a number of ways including; from our community mobile testing unit, participating pharmacies, online or from the Council’s hubs in Chelmsley Wood and at our newly located hub in Mell Square (old Dorothy Perkins shop). Each of these services are for people without COVID symptoms.
If you do have symptoms, please book a PCR test. This is important as it allows us to watch for new variants.
And crucially, it remains a legal requirement to self-isolate for 10 days if you are positive. You can be fined if you break this and more importantly, you could spread this to someone who may be at risk of serious harm or death.
With cases of COVID-19 still high and Christmas just around the corner, it’s really important that everyone heads into winter fully protected. That not only means getting your COVID vaccines but your flu jab too.
Across the borough, 36% of those with long-term health conditions have received their flu jab so far, along with 32% of 50-64 year olds and just 16% of pregnant women. Therefore, we have many people who are yet to come forward.
NHS colleagues are also reporting that more children are coming to Emergency Departments with flu, which can be easily remedied by ensuring that if they are eligible, that they have their quick and painless nasal spray for free on the NHS.
Essentially the message is simple. In order to keep life moving, so that we can enjoy family gatherings, Chanukah, Christmas celebrations and more AND to avoid the disappointment(s) of 2020, we need to continue to live with COVID and do what we can to stop the spread.
This means continuing to implement the behaviours which we know work against it, hands, face, space and fresh air – which work against flu and other winter viruses.
Director of Public Health, Solihull Council
Below are useful links to find out where you can get a vaccine, how to book, and how to get a test.
- Birmingham & Solihull NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Service – Birmingham & Solihull NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Service (birminghamandsolihullcovidvaccine.nhs.uk)
- What you need to know – Birmingham & Solihull NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Service (birminghamandsolihullcovidvaccine.nhs.uk)
- The NHS is also contacting people to bring forward second vaccination appointments, or rebook yourself on the National Booking Service.
- To get a test there are options to suit everyone, find a walk in site and ask for an assisted test, collect a kit to test at home, order online for free home delivery or get a 'collect code' and pick up a pack from participating local pharmacies.
- If you should get a positive rapid test result it’s vital to get a confirmatory PCR test within 48 hours. Check the Covid-19 mobile testing unit timetable here or book via the national PCR test booking system.
- Full government guidance on new rules around self-isolation is here.