Notts health boss: Covid 19 likely to become ‘predominantly winter seasonal illness’ in future

Public Health Director for the county, Jonathan Gribbin, has prepared a report for Nottinghamshire County Council.

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Covid 19 is likely to become a ‘predominantly winter seasonal illness’ in the future – but there is still uncertainty about the path the pandemic will take in Nottinghamshire.

Public Health Director for the county, Jonathan Gribbin, has prepared a report for Nottinghamshire County Council.

His report – Living Safely with Covid in Nottinghamshire’ – will be discussed by councillors at a public health committee on Monday, April 25.

He has outlined what measures will be taken in the future to manage local outbreaks and how money will be spent to target areas with low vaccination uptake.

Mr Gribbin said the effectiveness of the vaccine against severe illness associated with Covid has resulted in a reduction in hospitalisations and deaths in Nottinghamshire.

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He also discusses a government report – Living with Covid – released in February which states the global pandemic is not over and there is “considerable uncertainty about the path that the pandemic will now take in the UK”.

PICTURED: Public Health Director for the county, Jonathan Gribbin
Covid sign Arnold
A Covid sign in Arnold town centre

His report states: “It is likely that we will see further waves of transmission due to changes in immunity and/or the emergence of new variants, but the scale, timing and severity of any further waves is uncertain.

“Over time, it is likely that Covid-19 will become a predominantly winter seasonal illness, with some years seeing larger levels of infection than others.

“However, this may take several years to occur and for the present time, there continues to be significant numbers of cases and fluctuating levels of people hospitalised.”

Mr Gribbin said the Contain Outbreak Management Fund – funding provided to local authorities by the government to help reduce the spread of coronavirus – will be carried forward into 2022/23.

This fund, of which £9.3m is currently committed to this financial year, will continue to be used to support ongoing and new projects to the end of March 2023.

Proposals include funding three community health champion co-ordinators to develop a network of volunteers who will be promoting the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

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There is also funding for small community projects to enhance the uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine. Bids have been received from local businesses and the community and voluntary sector to support vaccination for “underserved, vulnerable and deprived communities with low vaccine uptake”.

Examples include online resources in specific languages, support with transport and dedicated one-to-one assistance for people with severe mental illness and learning difficulties.

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