No request to move COVID alert tiers yet as local community urged to intensify efforts

October 13, 2020

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council will not yet request to be moved into the second tier of the Government’s new national COVID-alert system.

The decision follows Essex County Council’s request to the secretary of state made yesterday (Tuesday 13 October) to move to tier two (high alert). The secretary of state is expected to make a decision this week.

However, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and its partners remain seriously concerned by the rate of increase in positive cases in Southend-on-Sea (from 13.65 positive cases per 100,000 on 11 September to 47.5 per 100,000 people on 11 October).

It is urging local people to redouble their efforts to prevent the spread of Coronavirus and help keep local rates down, which could prevent Southend-on-Sea being moved into tier two, either through a proactive request for more restrictions, or being told to by the Government.

Cllr Trevor Harp, cabinet member for adult social care and health and the chair of the local outbreak control plan oversight and engagement board, says: “Throughout the pandemic we have sought to take a proactive, preventative and balanced approach.

“We still believe that this is the right path to take to get this virus under control and are committed to taking the preventative measures needed in the interests of public health, whilst protecting our local community, NHS services and the local economy.

“At the current time we do not believe that our rate of infection merits a request to move up tiers. However, we are very concerned about how quickly our rate is increasing and we will therefore continue to monitor our local data closely and daily, and are ready to take proactive action if we believe it is needed to prevent further spread.

“We expect to review our position early next week, but we also await the decision of the secretary of state on Essex County Council’s request which could take this out of our hands anyway.

“The pandemic has been going on for a long time now and we cannot thank people enough for the sacrifices they have already made. But we must keep going and redouble our efforts as a local community. Individually and collectively we can make a difference and keep the rate down. This means following the national guidance, including washing our hands regularly, wearing face coverings, keeping two metres apart from those we don’t live with, and sticking to the rule of six.”

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