Residents and staff in six Torbay care homes currently have covid, the leader of the council has announced (writes Joe Ives - LDRS).
Speaking at a meeting called the ‘annual council’, its equivalent of an AGM, on Tuesday [17 May] Councillor Steve Darling (Lib Dems, Barton with Watcombe) said the numbers were ‘significantly better’ than they had been in the past.
He said: “Clearly with summer upon us we can look forward to a less restrictive world but we’ve got to operate within an endemic rather than a pandemic as we move on.”
In late March almost 250 residents and staff in Torbay’s care homes had the virus.
However, since April, people have not been required to report if they have covid, or to self-isolate.
Nonetheless, 107 people officially tested positive for covid in Torbay in the week to Tuesday, May 17. In the most recent complete seven-day period [to Wednesday, May 11] the infection rate was 95 per 100,000 of the population, compared to 96 per 100,000 nationally.
Torbay’s director of public health, Dr Lincoln Sargeant, has expressed concerns about the move to end free testing. Speaking in March he said the decision ‘takes away a key measure in terms of us understanding the asymptomatic spread’.
He noted that it will make tracking the infection rate harder when infections with similar symptoms to covid become more prevalent.
He added: “I still think you have to treat covid with a level of respect…I would feel more confident if we had more testing available so people can take responsible action.”
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