North Yorkshire County Council has warned care homes must stay on the alert and keep vigilant over visits from friends and family, as the vaccine roll out begins.
The local authority has written to providers, residents, and relatives this week urging continuing caution over the nature of visits and patience for the coming vaccination programme.
‘These are really tough times,’ said Richard Webb, North Yorkshire’s director of health and adult services.
‘And everyone in the care sector has shown tremendous resilience amidst the highs and lows that we have all felt. We thank them for their huge endeavours to keep people in their care as safe as possible.
‘But for now, we have to assume that the new, more transmissible variant of Covid-19 is in our county so, although everybody is tired, we must redouble our efforts to stay safe and to protect our care home residents and staff,’ he added.
‘Above all we must all stay vigilant with facemasks, hand washing and social distancing.’
The council, in partnership with the Independent Care Group, is also calling on providers to come forward with any ideas they might have to support care settings and ease pressures on the system.
Group chair Mike Padgham added: ‘The latest figures show that Covid-19 hasn’t gone away, and, despite take up of the vaccine, we cannot become complacent and let our guard drop.
‘We support North Yorkshire County Council in repeating the message that care providers and the community must keep up the pressure on Covid-19 – avoid social contact, use PPE, maintain good hygiene and observe social distancing.
‘To care providers, I say we must all look at how we can help the NHS, whether that is by taking in Covid-19 discharges, freeing up capacity to take in other people, making staff available for other roles, or whatever it is. The care sector is known for its flexibility, resilience and imagination and I know I can rely on providers to respond during this hour of need.’
Photo Credit – Centre for Ageing Better