Eighty-two thousand people in East Sussex in the most at risk Covid groups are still unvaccinated, with 6,500 of those people living in Hastings, the borough council’s cabinet members heard on Wednesday.
Council Managing Director Jane Hartnell outlined the position, talking about the current risks of the pandemic, and referencing what the Director of Public health says in his personal view is ‘the third wave.’
“We’re still on high alert and refining plans that may be necessary if significant outbreaks occur,” said Ms Hartnell.
“The spread of the Delta variant around the country is obviously the main cause for concern, and while infection rates in our town are currently low, we do have cases here and in every district and borough in East Sussex.
“The NHS are now contingency planning as they are experiencing a surge in demand. The message remains that it is vital to both facilitate access to vaccinations and encourage as many people as possible to take up these offers as the only way to protect the community. This is in effect a race to increase community resilience and keep people out of hospital.
“The council has worked with partners to test our surge testing plans; these would be initiated if the presence and spread of the Delta variant or another variant of concern were significant.”
Since May 7th when it became required that councillors meet in-person, the Hastings Borough Council has, on several occasions raised the perceived dangers of doing so, and that they are requesting the government allow them to meet virtually instead Ms Hartnell told cabinet members.
“Work behind the scenes continues to help us all balance safety concerns with delivering council business. Colleagues who support the public meetings are undertaking siginifcant extera work on risk assessments and to put measures in place to facilitate the council’s decision making.”
Current case figures in Hastings as provided by the council’s website stand at a total of 31 confirmed positive cases in the last seven days.