Oxfordshire Residents thanked for COVID caution and encouraged to keep getting tested

People across Oxfordshire are being thanked for their continued willingness to abide by the national roadmap rules that have allowed a gradual easing of restrictions during March and early April.

This is reflected in the number of new cases in Oxfordshire, which although showing slight variations over the past fortnight, has now dropped to 33.1 per 100,000 of the population.

Alongside following the rules and the rollout of the vaccine, regular testing forms an essential part of the government’s roadmap plan. From 9 April, everyone in England will be able to access free, rapid lateral flow device (LFD) tests for themselves and their families to use twice a week. This paves the way for businesses and society reopening.

Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire County Council’s Director for Public Health, said: “We’ve reached a new stage of navigating our way out of lockdown by being cautious and careful to keep the virus under control. However, the rules are only as good as people abiding by them. In the large majority of cases, that has happened, and we thank people for their efforts.

“Schools are now open, people are able to meet outdoors and on 12 April non-essential retail, beer gardens and libraries are to open. That’s real progress which has been achieved by individuals, families and friends taking responsibility for their own actions. You only need to think back to December and January to understand how much effort we’ve put in to getting this far.

“We would ask everyone to continue to take great care and abide by the rules as they change. The virus is still circulating and still presents a danger. We’ve all seen what happens when the virus is given opportunities – we had the rise in cases last autumn followed by the even larger rises in the winter. With more and more people being vaccinated we are consolidating our position against the virus every day – but it is a gradual process, not an overnight event.

“Alongside following the rules and the rollout of the vaccine, regular testing is an essential part of the easing of restrictions as it will help us quickly suppress the spread of variants. I would encourage everyone to get tested on a regular basis, even if you’ve had the vaccine.”

One in three people with COVID-19 do not experience any symptoms and may be spreading the virus without knowing. Rapid testing detects cases quickly, meaning positive cases can isolate immediately and help stop the spread.

The expanded regular testing offer for people without symptoms will be delivered through:

  • Workplace testing programmes, on-site or at home
  • Secondary school and college testing on-site or through home test kits provided
  • Community testing at symptom-free sites
  • Collection of home test kits from any local testing site (symptom (PCR) sites and symptom-free sites)
  • A home ordering service, which allows people to order lateral flow tests online to be delivered to their home.

A new ‘pharmacy collect’ service is also launching, which will provide an additional route to regular testing. Testing through all these routes is free.

For further information about the options available, visit NHS.UK/get-tested.

If testing at home, individuals need to register their results online or by calling 119.

Anyone who tests positive will need to self-isolate immediately and book asecond PCR test. A self-isolation information pack is available to provide advice and support.

If you test negative, you must continue to follow social distancing guidelines, wear a mask in public and regularly wash your hands.

Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should book a test online or by calling 119.

What are the rule changes on 12 April?

  • More businesses will open, but indoor settings should be visited alone, or with household groups. Outside, six people or two households can meet.
  • All shops will be allowed to open
  • Hairdressers, beauty salons and other close-contact services can open
  • Restaurants and pubs will be allowed to serve food and alcohol to customers sitting outdoors
  • Gyms and spas can reopen, as can zoos, theme parks, libraries and community centres
  • Members of the same household can take a holiday in England in self-contained accommodation
  • Weddings attended by up to 15 people can take place
  • Funerals can be attended by up to 30 people.
  • Children will be able to attend any indoor children’s activity
  • Care home visitors will increase to two per resident.

Charlbury Medical Centre AZ Covid Clinics

Charlbury Medical Centre AZ Covid clinics, TUESDAY 9th and FRIDAY 12th February

If you are in the eligible category,  over 70 or extremely clinically vulnerable, you should have had a call to invite you to the two clinics arranged for this week.

If you haven’t yet heard from the CMC, (or booked a vaccination on line), as advised for the Secretary of State for Health, please contact the Practice and they will ensure you are included 

Please also note that some parking spaces will be reserved for patients attending the sports centre for their vaccinations and allow them to have priority for a couple of hours in the morning of these two dates. Thank you for your understanding.

Charlbury Medical Centre Patient Group News – Jan 2021

From: Sue Smith, Charlbury Medical Centre Patient Group.

First, I want to start by emphasising that the delivery of the Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine has not yet been confirmed for next week.  Please continue to check the medical centre website, and Charlbury.info for news.  The medical centre has a great track record for vaccinating people speedily and efficiently.  Please help them by responding to their telephone calls and collecting your vaccination letter if there isn’t time to post it out.

Secondly, there has been a short discussion on the Charlbury town website about oximeters.  These devices measure heart rate and oxygen levels present in the blood. A drop in oxygen levels can be a key indicator into the severity of a Covid-19 infection. A person may not be aware of this, but the use of the oximeter will monitor oxygen levels and alert people to when they should act urgently. The article on BBC News gives more information: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55733527

Lastly, we attach our winter newsletter.

Charlbury Patient Group News January 2021

This time we write about:

  • The Rural West Primary Care Network: what is it?
  • New staff in the Rural West PCN
  • The work of the Falls Prevention Service, when to dial 999 following a fall
  • The NHS App: your own GP medical records one click away: how to access it and the information it provides
  • Booking an appointment at the medical practice. When is my GP on duty?

Please share this newsletter with anyone you think might be interested in it.  Please also share the information about the Falls Service with friends, neighbours and family who might benefit from the important service they provide.

COVID vaccinations this week at Carterton

This is just a reminder that it is essential that you have filled in your forms before you go for your vaccination, but only people who have been called by the Practice and given an appointment should go up to the tent outside to collect your letters tomorrow and later in the week for the Friday session. If it is impossible for you or a friend/ relative to collect your letter, we can deliver them

Please do not telephone the Practice, they will definitely telephone you if you are eligible to be offered an appointment, and please do not come to ask for a letter unless you have been called. We are awaiting information about the Oxford vaccine, no news yet.

If it is possible that you have missed your call, please check your answerphone regularly.

Covid 19 Vaccine News from Charlbury Medical Centre

For the latest news click here: https://www.thecharlburymedicalcentre.nhs.uk/news.aspx?p=K84610

We started to telephone eligible patients on Monday 11th January to book for vaccination on Saturday 16th January at Carterton Health Centre. It will be Charlbury staff running the clinic so same faces different location.

Please do not arrive earlier than 5 minutes before your allotted time as you have to sit and wait for 15 minutes after vaccination before we can let you go (space is limited & trying to achieve social distancing).

ATIC (All Together in Charlbury) the details of which may be found on the local Charlbury website may be able to help with transport to Carterton if required Tel 01993 776 277

We ask you to come to Charlbury Surgery or ask someone to do this on your behalf to pick up the necessary paperwork & fill in the form at home. It would be helpful for us if you can arrive between 10am and 11am as a representative from our patient group will be there to help you at that time.

CARERS: Please contact CMC@nhs.net to let us know you are a carer. You are amazing, thank you for caring & all your hard work! Please don’t phone the surgery to tell us you are a carer as it’s clogging up our phone lines, an e-mail is perfect…Thanks!

We are struggling to phone patients to book them in for their vaccine appointments as we are being flooded with incoming calls!

So far according to the number of vaccines we have been allocated and the number of patients in each age group that we have, it looks like:

  • Saturday January 16th will be all over 85’s.
  • Tuesday January 19th will be the remaining over 85’s and mostly over 80’s.
  • Friday January 22nd we will be starting the large 75 to 80 group.

Just as soon as we have the AZ vaccine we will be vaccinating the vulnerable house bound in age descending order.

Keep checking here regularly for updates & in case anything changes (for example the vaccine delivery does not turn up).

Keep looking after yourselves & each other, we will get through this.

Lockdown-2 – Oxfordshire Must Play its Part

Oxfordshire must play its part to control the virus and save lives

Help will be available to those who needs it this winter as the Oxfordshire community comes together to do its bit to control the virus and save lives. 

That’s the message from local leaders who are urging residents and businesses to carefully follow the new lockdown guidelines from the government this week. 

It’s clear that the second lockdown will be tough on residents and businesses across the county, which is why it’s so important to make sure it is effective. Oxfordshire’s council leaders, the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner and the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership have come together to say that the everyone must play their part to help control the spread of the virus once again to save lives.

That means staying at home and not gathering with people you do not live with. The full guidance is on the government’s website. 

Even under normal circumstances, winter puts a significant strain on the resources of Oxfordshire’s NHS and other health services, and the escalating cases of COVID-19 across the whole country are already adding an even bigger burden, putting more lives at risk. Staying home and following the guidelines is the only way to help save lives.

This brings additional challenges, and over the course of the first lockdown, communities across the county came together in an incredible show of support to make sure everyone in their neighbourhoods got the help and support they needed.

The six Oxfordshire authorities will once again be working together and closely with their local communities to ensure anybody in need of help getting their basic supplies is connected with people who are able to help them. 

Information on the support available for residents can be found on the councils’ websites:

In addition to the support provided to businesses by the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership www.oxfordshirelep.com/coronavirus, the councils also provide a vital support service to give advice and guidance to businesses worried about the impact the second lockdown will have. 

Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “It is well documented that we have been concerned about the rise in the number of cases in Oxfordshire. I welcome any move that will help to stem the spread of the virus and protect our communities. I urge people to stick to the rules and hopefully in time we will see a positive impact on the number of cases both locally and nationally.” 

Councillor Michele Mead, Leader of West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “We have a fantastic sense of community in West Oxfordshire and I know we will all pull together once more to help each other over the next few weeks.

“It promises to be a difficult time, but it is important we stick by the government guidelines and try to stay as safe as possible. We will get through it hopefully in time to enjoy a proper family Christmas.”

Councillor Emily Smith, Leader of the Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “We’ve shown before that we can work together to help each other through a difficult time, and that is going to be needed more than ever as we go into winter. We’re here to do everything we can for our most vulnerable residents and our businesses.

“Please follow the guidelines, keep yourself safe, keep your families safe and help us get this virus under control.”

Councillor Sue Cooper, Leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “We already have an incredible support network in place to provide the support people need in the coming weeks. Please do everything you can to follow the guidelines and help save lives. If you’re a resident in need, or a business worried about what’s to come, get in touch and we’ll do what we can to help.”

Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of Oxford City Council, said: “Whilst nobody wants a countrywide lockdown, we hope that it can stop the spread and protect the NHS both locally and nationally. In Oxford we will continue to do what we can to support the many businesses that will be impacted, many of which were just getting back on their feet. Working with the city’s fantastic volunteer networks, we will also provide additional support for vulnerable households where that is needed. Over this next month it’s really important that we all obey the rules, to protect ourselves, our families, our friends and our colleagues and I’d like to thank everyone for doing their best to keep us all safe.”

Councillor Barry Wood, leader of Cherwell District Council, said: “Stopping the spread of coronavirus has to be everyone’s top priority at this point in time. It is essential that everyone follows these new restrictions from 5 November so that come December the rate of transmission has dropped.

“As local leaders we are acutely aware of the sacrifices our residents and businesses will be making in the coming weeks. I assure them that Cherwell District Council will continue to prioritise its essential services and support its communities through this challenging period.”

The Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Barber, said: “The announcement of a further national lockdown by the Prime Minister will come as a huge blow to us all. We all have an unenviable task of managing the economic, social and health consequences for us all against the apparently exponential spread of the virus. Many people will be uncomfortable with these further restrictions, that come after so many extraordinary months that have changed our lives. Thames Valley Police will continue to enforce these unprecedented restrictions in the same common-sense fashion that they have demonstrated in recent months. The approach will be to engage with the public, explain the new rules, encourage people to protect each other by following these new laws and to enforce only as a last resort. This is not the “new normal”, but exceptional measures that must be taken to allow us to return to normality.”

Nigel Tipple, Chief Executive of OxLEP, said: “Following the Government’s decision to return the whole of England into lockdown – as has been the case in recent weeks and months – we will continue to work with Oxfordshire’s health officials, our local authority counterparts, the county’s MPs and our business community to ensure the additional support that our businesses will undoubtedly require during this period is in place and made readily available. 

“We ask that businesses follow the new guidelines and adhere to any actions required, including those industries permitted to remain active during this lockdown period. 

“We also encourage businesses to be as proactive as possible and seek any support that is needed, whether via existing government schemes or indeed the support and advice we are able to offer as the county’s Local Enterprise Partnership. We would also ask that businesses seek to understand – and be aware of – any future support announced by Government. 

“Coronavirus has created an unprecedented situation and will cause concern and disruption to businesses of all sizes for the foreseeable future. We will continue to work hard to ensure that our business community can be supported – and remain resilient – during this challenging period.”

Get a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms

Enstone NHS Test & Trace

Residents are being reminded to make sure that they get tested for COVID-19 if they have symptoms or have been advised to do so.

This reminder comes from Oxfordshire County Council as England enters a second lockdown starting on Thursday 5 November.

Until then people are reminded that existing high alert level restrictions in Oxford and medium level restrictions in the rest of Oxfordshire still apply.

Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire County Council’s Director for Public Health, added: “As cases are continuing to escalate across the county, we are actively urging people to make sure that they get a test if they have symptoms or if they have been advised to do so. There is capacity and it’s a crucial part of limiting the spread of the virus.”

Testing protects residents and provides the opportunity to create a full picture of how the virus is spreading within communities.

Residents can book a test seven days a week by calling 119 or registering online. Alternatively, home tests are available – but these must be used within seven days of having symptoms.

On top of existing local and regional testing centres, new testing sites will be opening in Oxford (Oxpens) on 6 November and Banbury (Woodgreen Leisure Centre) on 17 November. Work is also ongoing to bring two further sites to West Oxfordshire, and South Oxfordshire.People are also reminded of the following:

  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you must self-isolate for at least 10 days and get a test. Do not wait for a test or test result before self-isolating.
  • The main symptoms of coronavirus are a high temperature, a new continuous cough, and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms. If you have at least one of these symptoms, you should book a test by calling 119 or registering online at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.
  • If another member of your household has symptoms, you must self-isolate. Further guidance on self-isolation is available on the government’s website.
  • If you have been abroad and are in quarantine, you should get a test if you develop symptoms.
  • If you are self-isolating or in quarantine, then a negative test result does not mean you can end isolation early. The virus can take time to develop and so a test early on does not prove that you will not go on to develop the virus –you could still be at risk of spreading the virus to other people.