“A chance to turn the virus around”

A message from Darrell Gale, Director of Public Health for East Sussex.

Putting East Sussex in the ‘high risk’ tier for coronavirus reflects the uncomfortable truth that cases here are still rising quite steeply rather than coming down, as they are in England as a whole.

“For months we’ve had one of the lowest infection rates in the country. But we’ve never been insulated from the risks of Covid spreading rapidly in our community and we’re at a point where that may be starting to happen, with 136 cases per 100,000 of population over the last seven days.

“This is still below the national average, but it won’t stay that way unless we act now to reverse the upward direction the virus is taking in East Sussex. All of us have responsibility for what happens next. 

“By following the rules set out for high risk areas, we can start to turn things around.

In particular, I’d urge everyone to avoid crowds, reduce your travel and  social contact as much as possible and if you must meet others, do it outside if you can. 

“As well as following the regulations we all have choices to make. Reflect on who you really need to see at this time (or at Christmas). Think about how you’ll avoid crowds, especially in shops and marketplaces.  If you really need to go Christmas shopping for instance, why not do it at less busy times?

“It will be many months before vaccinations can alter the overall path of the virus. But we can do that immediately by thinking about the rules we must follow and the effect of the actions each of us take. I’d love to see East Sussex moved out of the high-risk category, and I’m sure you would too.

“So let’s do something about it together.”