Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Strategic Co-ordinating Group update COVID-19

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough continues to see a moderate decline in new infections, there continues to be good intensive care capacity in our hospitals and capacity to transfer people, when they no longer need hospital treatment, safely into the community. Referrals of other illnesses into primary care are returning to near normal.

The Strategic Coordination Group is clear that while some limited lifting of restrictions are beginning to be made or planned for, it continues to be imperative to keep the rate of COVID-19 infection down – and that adherence to government messages is what is allowing health and social care services to manage the emergency locally.

All organisations are asked to continue to promote the stay at home, social distancing and hygiene messages as this remains the best defence we have against the virus spreading.

VE Day celebrations ‘at home’ are to be supported and promoted by all organisations for the coming weekend – as there are concerns that the bank holiday, good weather and restrictions lifted on some DIY/Gardening outlets could undo the good work we have all done so far.

Information is released today about the opening of Household Recycling Centres from May 11 – but this information will stress that these are for essential trips only to dispose of waste which cannot be collected by doorstep collections and which otherwise might cause harm or hazard to householders. Strict traffic control measures around the sites are also being planned.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary has confirmed that while it is in the ‘top half of the bottom end’ of the league table for forces issuing fixed penalty notices for people breaking social distancing measures, it did issue a further eight fines over the past weekend. The Chief Constable has confirmed the Force will continue to issue fixed penalty notices – although it will rely most heavily on the ‘Educate, Engage, Explain’ part of its Four E strategy, before it reaches ‘Enforce’.

Work is underway to contact around 6,000 local people who government believes should be on the shielded list locally and have been contacted by letter, but have not registered. All of these people will receive information first containing a password to be used by staff and volunteers from the district and city hubs who will then be making personal contact to make sure all of these people are safe and being supported. No contacts from the volunteer hubs will be asking for money to undertake tasks, and all will carry identification which can be checked.

The Warn and Inform group of public sector communications leads will continue to highlight the difference between these activities and scam calls to vulnerable people by fraudsters attempting to gain money for non-existent shopping trips or provision of other services. False claims online of specific faith groups failing to adhere to social distancing measures across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough which are being picked up will also be dealt with as and when they are seen.

Preparations are underway to manage contact tracing initiatives which we are expecting to be nationally led, but locally implemented, following trials that are happening in different parts of the UK now.

Gillian Beasley and Jan Thomas – Joint Chairs of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough SCG.