“We must keep on protecting each other”

Published Thursday, 18th November 2021

With Coronavirus rates still high in Hartlepool, the Council’s Director of Public Health has issued a rallying call to residents to continue to exercise caution.

Craig Blundred says now isn’t the time to drop our guard: “We know the vaccination programme is working to help prevent serious disease and reduce deaths and it is absolutely vital eligible people across Hartlepool get the jabs they are entitled to.

“COVID-19 cases are still high in Hartlepool and I also need to ask people across the Borough to continue to exercise caution.

“For example, the evidence is absolutely clear that wearing face coverings in busy indoor areas and on public transport will still help to protect you and those around you even though they're no longer legally required.

“Continuing to wash and sanitise your hands regularly and allowing fresh air to circulate indoors will also help to reduce infections.

“But the most important thing of all is that each and every one of us gets the vaccine when we are called to do so.”

Craig Blundred photo

Craig Blundred

Mr Blundred also spoke about the huge efforts schools are making to keep children in the classroom and minimise any disruption: “Unfortunately, Hartlepool continues to see a high number of COVID-19 cases in young people, particularly those aged between 11 and 16.

“Schools across Hartlepool are doing an amazing job to stay open for both pupils and staff and we are very grateful for this.

“In light of the high number of cases in young people, we recently wrote to schools and parents recommending some additional actions are taken to keep our children and community safe.

“In secondary schools, we recommended all adults and pupils wear a face covering in all communal areas unless exempt and that staff and pupils should test themselves for COVID-19 twice a week, and more frequently if they asked to do so.

“In primary schools, we suggested all adults wear a face covering in all communal areas unless exempt and that staff test themselves for COVID-19 twice a week, and more frequently if they are asked to do so.

“We asked all schools to consider limiting or pausing whole school events such as assemblies.

“Early next week, we’ll be asking parents for their support once again. Following discussions with our secondary schools, we are advising the following:

“That all secondary school pupils should take a PCR test if they live with or have been identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case.

“If the PCR test is positive, they should self-isolate.

“If the PCR test is negative, they can attend school as normal, but should take a lateral flow test every day for seven days.  

“If any of the seven daily lateral flow tests are positive, then the pupil should immediately isolate and stay off school.

 “This is a temporary measure while cases are high, but by implementing these simple actions you will be helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Hartlepool and keep children in school.”

Mr Blundred also expressed his thanks to people across Hartlepool for the work they are doing to help keep people safe: “Understandably, people are tired and frustrated but it is now more important than ever that we continue to do all we can to protect ourselves and all those that we love.

“If everyone continues to pull together we will be able to continue to make a significant difference.”

A further walk-in COVID vaccination clinic has been announced for Hartlepool on Saturday 20th November, 9am - 4pm, at Middleton Grange Shopping Centre car park, off Park Road. For full details, click here.