Staff briefing roundup

Rob Gerlis

  • National COVID alert level is still at 3
  • The ‘R’ rate in the East of England is at 0.8-1
  • Face coverings became mandatory last Friday (24 July) – more for protecting others from you rather than other way round
  • Shielding measures for extremely vulnerable people is due to end this Friday (31 July)
  • North West of England and Midlands have the highest number of positive COVID diagnosis rates based on swab testing
  • In Essex all districts have had positive cases:
    • From 11 -27 July, Epping Forest had seven new cases, Harlow had three and Uttlesford had 10.
    • Braintree had 43 positive tests and Tendring 26 in the last 14 days.
    • There has been a steady use of mobile testing units across Essex and rates of postal kits were highest for Southend and Harlow.
  • There has been a decrease in COVID-19 bed occupancy in hospitals nationally, with 1.2% of Essex trust beds occupied by COVID-19 patients and 1.7% COVID-19 suspected patients.
  • All cause of deaths have returned to normal levels expected for time of year
  • People are getting back into the shops, with workplaces at about half the normal levels of attendance
  • Top 5 recovery areas – cancer, ophthalmology, diagnostics, outpatient and children’s mental health
  • A programme of recovery to new normal is being implemented – the system is aware of possible new outbreaks, winter flu, people presenting late with cancer and other chronic conditions

Ian Tompkins

  • Decluttering deadline and deep clean – most buildings are clear, if you still need to declutter your desk, please arrange to do so with Debs or Jackie
  • If you come into the building please inform Jackie at reception – then let her know when you arrive and leave
  • Visitors will be asked to leave contact details for test and trace if necessary
  • Sanitisers are all up on the walls
  • Fire doors have been modified to be kept open – this is to help with ventilation to make buildings safe.
  • The doors will automatically close if fire alarm goes off – this has been approved by fire safety professionals
  • Building are to have a deep clean – we are upping the cleaning specification
  • All desks and surfaces are to be cleaned daily
  • Other common touch points, for example doors, fridge doors, printers etc are to be cleaned throughout the day
  • Key pad entry system – looking into a key fob or ID swipe option
  • Once all signed off by David Wallace our infection, prevention and control specialist we’ll send to Exec
  • Final decision to reopen will rest with Exec once we are absolutely certain it’s safe for staff to return
  • Likely to only be 60% of staff at one given time

Antibody testing update

  • Testing is still available here at St Margaret’s, Epping and across GP practices
  • Most NHS staff in west Essex have been tested – approx. 1,500 – including CCG staff
  • Now focusing on community dentists, pharmacists and optometrist s
  • Antibody testing still available to book – details are on AskHUE
  • Test results are back within a couple of days – you can also monitor your results on the account you set up on the Shift Partner web app
  • There is no deadline for antibody testing – it is currently ongoing but we are keeping an eye on numbers
  • Putting things in place in terms of demand
  • Testing units should be there for some considerable time
  • If you have a positive test – it is not a COVID free pass, you should still be cautious and careful – these results are helpful for the science of mapping etc
  • Repeat antibody testing – do not get one within 28 days of already having one – NHSE have not given any indication of any repeat testing needed
  • Next group to test – starting to widen it out to social care, care homes and domiciliary workers – approximately 29-30k people
  • Testing figures are consistent, no real spikes
  • Comprehensive plans are in place in terms of outbreak management – trying to avoid lockdown and looking at containing areas – perhaps have certain areas of lockdown rather than whole town
  • Using test and trace
  • Last week – West Essex CCG took part in multi-agency test – tested scenarios based on real situations from elsewhere in the UK (not in WE)
  • Mobile testing units are available across the county – additional day has been added in Southend – three days of testing next week
  • Rayleigh Leisure Centre testing unit relocated to Harwich
  • Flu vaccinations – eligibility has changed significantly – will be offered to staff in due course
  • Looking into mass vaccination centres across Essex
  • Face masks – police say there’s only two calls across Essex about this
  • Individual risk assessments – all complete. Thank you to everyone for doing this.

Any other business

  • Looking into what is better, Microsoft Teams vs Zoom for training – Microsoft is working on making Teams more effective – will confirm with Alan Hicks

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