Kate Allen, CEO – Covid-19 update 22nd January 2021
As we are seeing across the country, transmission rates are increasing and more people are becoming infected.
In Oxfordshire, three people we support sharing the same house have tested positive for Covid-19 this week with 4 of the staff working there also confirmed Covid positive. Where there are multiple cases of people with Covid in the same house we inform the Public Health England local Health Protection Team who check on the support we are providing; which we did this week and received the thumbs ups that we are doing all that we can and should continue as we are. We have no new cases amongst people we support in Berkshire or Buckinghamshire this week, although we do have one member of staff confirmed Covid positive.
The reassuringly low number of transmissions will be partly because all staff are required to wear PPE when supporting people or in communal areas with other staff, and we are supporting autistic people to comply with lock down and social distancing measures wherever possible. Unfortunately once someone we support does contract Covid there is a high likelihood of it being transmitted between other people we support as they don’t use PPE in their shared homes.
The numbers of staff receiving vaccinations continue to go up slowly, with 24 staff in Berkshire and Oxfordshire having been vaccinated. Many more staff in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire are keen to get their vaccinations and we have been reassured this week that the vaccination hubs are being set-up; that we will be contacted shortly for details for our staff and all should have been offered vaccinations by mid-February. Whilst this is frustrating, we do understand that social care staff working with very vulnerable older people are the priority. We are also identifying those people we support whose health condition/s would make them higher risk and we will try to prioritise those support staff teams first.