Covid: Why we must remain focussed on Plan A

There is a phased roll out of Covid vaccination sites in Devon. Picture: Getty

Of Torbay’s population aged 12 or over, 82.4 per cent have now received at least one jab, 76.8 per cent a second jab and many in key risk groups a third - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Over recent weeks rising numbers of new Covid cases has resulted in debates about whether restrictions will need to be reintroduced, the Government’s 'Plan B'.

In the past, the current level of cases would have resulted in large Covid-related pressures on our local NHS.

Yet one key statistic explains why this is not the case: our Bay’s vaccination rate.

Of Torbay’s population aged 12 or over, 82.4 per cent have now received at least one jab, 76.8 per cent a second jab and many in key risk groups a third.

The focus of growth in Covid case rates is among the youngest age group and the one least likely to have received a vaccination jab so far, school aged children.

Yet this also explains why, at this stage, Plan B is not being used.

Items in Plan B such as a work from home instruction or restrictions on attending venues like nightclubs will, for obvious reasons, least affect the activities of school age children and their likelihood of getting Covid.

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Across the UK case numbers have also started to fall, but it is too early to say if this is the start of a general decline overall.

It is also worth noting the highest case rates are in Wales, where some restrictions removed back in July across England have remained in place.

Hence the focus is on Plan A, delivering booster jabs to the most vulnerable, reaching out to those yet to get a jab and communications work reinforcing the key actions we can all take to make a difference.

We can all do our bit to help in the fight by following the guidance, testing regularly and remembering to get the flu jab, If eligible, as Covid is not the only infection which can be a killer at this time of year.

Levelling Up 

One piece of disappointing news last week was the failure of Torbay’s bid to the first round of the Levelling Up Fund, which included work to expand Brixham Fish Market.

While this needs to be seen against the success in securing funds for the £21.9m Torquay Town Deal and £13.4m of support for Paignton’s Future High Streets Fund, it is vital we ensure all our Bay’s towns receive the support they need.

Anthony Mangnall and I have, therefore, already discussed the outcome of the bid, including where we could work with Torbay Council and local businesses to strengthen it ready for Round Two.

I adopted this approach when we missed out on the first round of Future High Streets Funding for Paignton.

We then got the cash we needed in the second round and, with strong plans in place, are now proceeding on a not dissimilar timetable to many communities who were successful in the first round. 

Surgery times 

My next surgeries are Friday, November 19, 3pm to 5pm at 5-7 East Street, Torquay TQ2 5SD.

Sadly, my surgeries must remain appointment only at this stage given the prevailing public health guidance. 

For an appointment you can either email me at kevin@kevinjfoster.com or leave a message on 01803 214989. You can also drop into my office at 5-7 East Street, Torquay TQ2 5SD between 10am and 1pm weekdays.

Please note you may have to wait outside if others attend at the same time.