This Newsletter has been produced by the Petersfield COVID-19 Network. It is intended to help and inform Petersfield residents, especially those who are unable to leave their homes because of Government restrictions.
If you know someone who would like to receive the paper version of this newsletter, please ask them to contact Romsey Mill via phone or via post: Romsey Mill Centre, Hemingford Road, Cambridge CB1 3BZ (you do not need a stamp if you add “FREEPOST CB1067”) or call 07933 671101.
Romsey Mill can also offer assistance by putting you in contact with volunteers, who can help collecting shopping and medication.
If you have information which would be of benefit to other residents in Petersfield please contact Romsey Mill with details and we will consider using it in future newsletters.
For all residents experiencing other Covid related issues (e.g. needing help while they isolate, or experiencing financial hardship support) speak to a member of the customer services team at Cambridge City Council. Telephone 01223 458780 or contact Simon.Aslett@cambridge.gov.uk or complete an online help request form here https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/coronavirus
Latest infection statistics in Cambridge
Public Health England data indicate there were 241 new cases of Covid-19 in Cambridge for the week, 21st – 28th October. This is an increase of 45% on the new cases reported last week. The current infection rate in Cambridgeshire is sufficiently high for the area to be considered for a move into Tier 2.
The steep increase may be due to the pro-active work by Cambridge University in their extensive testing programme. This has identified 156 Students who have tested positive. About a quarter of these individual cases did not realise they were infectious until they were tested, as they had no symptoms. Because all 156 students are now strictly self-isolating, Cambridge is still in Tier 1 and the risk is regarded as Medium.
Avoiding Infection and not Spreading Infection
In all areas of England, you should remember ‘Hands. Face. Space’:
hands – wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds
face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet
space – stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors)
This guidance is for people who are fit and well. There is separate guidance for:
- households with a possible or confirmed coronavirus infection
- people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus
When meeting friends and family you should also: follow social distancing rules when you meet up; limit how many different people in total you see socially over any short period of time; meet people outdoors where practical. This is safer because fresh air provides better ventilation. When meeting friends and family indoors, it is good to open windows and doors if at all possible.
Help for Families Struggling to Make Ends Meet
After the government’s decision not to continue to fund free school meals over the holidays – the County Council and District and City councils are issuing a reminder to all those that are struggling to cope during this pandemic to make contact. This offer of support includes families who may be struggling but are not eligible for free school meals. If you need support please contact the Countywide hub on 03450455219.
Local Councils will support people to access food and other supplies if they are struggling to provide for their families; and this will include those who are eligible for free school meals during the holidays. Advice and guidance is also made available to ensure families are maximising their eligibility for other benefits.
How Near are we to an Effective Vaccine?
There are a number of vaccines in development and the UK Government have agreed deals for 340million doses of vaccine from 6 companies. There is no certainty that a particular vaccine will succeed so the government is investing in a number of different ones in order to maximise the chances of finding a successful and effective vaccine.
There are 9 vaccines in the final stages of development currently undergoing final stage 3 trials. Here the vaccines are tested on thousands of volunteers. Volunteers are divided into two groups, half of which receive the vaccine and half receive a placebo. The effectiveness of the vaccine is measured by comparing the numbers in each group who become infected.
The vaccine being developed in the UK by AstraZeneca and Oxford University recently stated that they were hopeful of being able to start distribution of their vaccine before Christmas. Pfizer in the US in conjunction with a German company BNioNtech are at a similar stage, although both consortia are using different technologies. Each will require 2 doses for effective immunity.