Overall Picture for BCP and Dorset Council Areas in relation to COVID-19: week commencing 16th August 2021

The current 7-day infection rate for the period to 12th August is:

  • 438 per 100,000 in BCP

  • 308 per 100,000 in Dorset Council

 For the over 60s, the numbers are:

  • 147 per 100,000 BCP  

  • 79 per 100,000 Dorset Council

Patient numbers in hospital with COVID-19 has also dipped slightly, the latest figure as at 12th August is 35.

In the 7 days to 12th August, there were 15 incidents reported in care settings. 70 out of 281 care homes have open situations.

Key messages for the adult social care sector for this week

The rules on self-isolation following notification of contact with a positive case of COVID-19 have changed. 

The majority of fully vaccinated health and social care staff will be able to continue in their usual role. Only those with COVID-19 symptoms, however mild, will need to follow the stay at home guidance if they have a contact with a case.

All staff who are notified of a contact with a positive case must:

  • not have any COVID-19 symptoms
     
  • immediately arrange for a PCR test, either through their workplace arrangements or via the NHS Test and Trace service, and get a negative result prior to returning to work
     
  • following the negative PCR result, undertake an LFD antigen test every day for the 10 days following their last contact with the case (even on days they are not at work)
     
  • comply with all relevant infection control precautions and wear PPE properly throughout the day
     
  • have a risk assessment if they work with patients or residents who are highly vulnerable to COVID-19, to determine if they should be redeployed during the 10-day period

If a staff member has had a SARS-CoV-2 infection in the past 90 days, they should not have a PCR test and should only undertake daily LFD antigen tests on days they are working. The LFD antigen test should be taken before starting their shift, and the result should be negative.

The Health Protection Board continues to recommend that organisations with staff working in high-risk settings or with vulnerable groups complete their self-isolation.

If you have employees who have been exposed and are unsure what to do, please contact your lead commissioner. The public health team day response team will guide you through the risk assessment process.  Email: publichealth-hp@dorsetcc.gov.uk

Please note that the guidance on management of exposed residents in care settings has not changed. They will need to continue to isolate or be grouped together.

Advice on care home visiting

Our local care home visiting policy has been in place since July 2020, and the Health Protection Board reviews this regularly.

Individuals notified as close contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 are advised not to visit care homes, in order to protect vulnerable residents.

They can continue to visit in exceptional circumstances, such as when a resident is nearing the end of their life.

More generally, guidance continues to make clear visits should take place in accordance with current testing regimes.

Day care and day opportunity services

Services are operating in COVID secure ways and Health Protection Board reviews advice on these services each week.

We are still waiting for SCIE to update its information and advice on delivering safe, face to face day care. So we advise day opportunity providers to continue to take all precautionary measures and keep risk assessing until such time as we are confident that infection rates no longer pose a risk. 

For services that support people who are clinically extremely vulnerable, extra care should be taken so please refer to guidance on this.

COVID-19 MCA and DoLS guidance withdrawn

Following the lifting of restrictions on 19 July 2021, the Government has decided not to make any further updates to the emergency guidance Coronavirus (COVID-19): looking after people who lack mental capacity. It is however still available, for information.

Jabs + Testing = Our Way Out

Vaccines and regular testing are the best way to protect everyone from COVID-19 so we can do the things we love, with the people we love.

You can grab your COVID-19 jab at walk-ins and vaccine clinics across Dorset. It’s also important to have your second dose.

Thank you to everyone who has had their vaccine. You are protecting our community.

Questions about the COVID-19 vaccine?

Do you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccination, and you’d like to speak to a trusted clinician about them? Your PCN Care Home Clinical Lead can help. Please do get in touch with them.

COVID-19 vaccine key dates – Reminder

The 16 September is the last date for anyone entering a care home for work or to volunteer to get their first jab. This will allow them to be fully vaccinated by 11 November, as required by the regulations.

Booster jabs in Dorset

The Dorset COVID-19 vaccination programme is awaiting further Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation guidance on booster jabs. We will update you as further information becomes available.

 

Sam Crowe, Director of Public Health

Vivienne Broadhurst, Executive Director of Adults Social Care, Dorset Council Jan Thurgood, Corporate Director of Adult Social Care, BCP Council

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