City leaders thank everyone for their efforts in stopping Covid but remind the city we must all continue to play our part

The city’s MPs, councillors, Public Health, Healthwatch, NHS leaders, university Vice Chancellors, police chiefs and business experts met virtually yesterday to discuss the current number of cases of Covid in the city, and the new three-tier system which sees every area of England classed as being on Medium, High or Very High alert - also known as Tiers 1 to 3, respectively. 

Brighton & Hove has been classed as being in Tier 1 so on Medium Alert which means that the city is subject to the basic national rules which are:

  • You may not meet in a group of more than six people, indoors or outdoors, unless you're in a larger household or a support bubble.
  • Pubs, bars and restaurants must close by 10pm.

The city’s leaders came together as members of the Local Outbreak Engagement Board along with other partners. The board has been set up to ensure that all sectors in the city work collectively to keep residents safe and communicate clearly to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Chaired by Brighton & Hove City Council Leader Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, the board heard and discussed the latest available Covid data.

Key data the board heard on 19 October 

  • Confirmed new cases in the seven days up to 15 October 2020: 242

    • This is level with the 243 cases in the previous seven-day period (up to 8 October)

  • Confirmed cases (rate per 100,000 population) in the seven days up to 15 October 2020: 83.2

    • This is lower than the rate for England, which was 166.6 per 100,000, during the same period

  • While most cases remain in younger adults - 62% of cases in October so far in those aged 15-24 years - we are seeing increasing rates in working age and older adults.

After hearing the data, the Board discussed the city’s current status as Tier 1 or on Medium Alert and what it would mean if the city was to be classed as being on High Alert or Very High Alert.  

All agreed that the city’s current status as being on Medium Alert was right but that there was absolutely no room for any complacency about how quickly the situation could change and the crucial actions every organisation and individual in the city should take to prevent the spread of Covid.

City leaders ask everyone to take positive actions to stop Covid

Council Leader Phélim Mac Cafferty said the meeting was incredibly useful and paved the way for effectively managing any significant future Covid outbreaks in the city, should they happen. He said:

“Working as one team is so much more powerful than working as separate organisations.  

"I know each and every one us is doing great work to manage and prevent the spread of Covid, but people need to have trust in us that we are working collectively to keep them safe and if we are all providing the same information and advice; this goes a long way in building that trust. 

“I am however acutely aware that the meeting invite wasn’t extended to the city’s Voluntary and Community Sector partners, faith and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic community leaders. I will ensure that they are invited to the next meeting and I apologise for that oversight.

“We know most people are following the Covid guidelines and we thank everyone for all their efforts. It can be hard and it can complicated but we ask everyone to take our top three actions and play their part.”

  • The virus spreads when people and households mix. This is not a time to take risks. Covid-19 is a highly infectious virus. Please reduce your social contacts.

  • You may not meet in a group of more than six people, indoors or outdoors, unless you're in a larger household or a support bubble. Meeting people outside your household is lower risk than inside and social distancing is still crucial. Please meet outside wherever you can.

  • We see people putting on and taking off face masks as they walk around the busy city and neighbourhoods. Repeatedly touching your face covering increases the risk of transmission and puts you and others at greater risk. Please keep your face covering on at all times when you’re out and about but especially when there’s a risk you can’t maintain two metres distance from others not in your household or bubble. 

Alistair Hill, Director of Public Health for the city, reminded the board of his statement last week saying that the city was still at ‘tipping point’ but that it was possible to stop the spread of Covid by following the hands, face, space guidelines and limiting contact with other people. He also told the board:

"Self-isolating at the first sign of symptoms and getting tested is still essential when it comes to protecting your own health, protecting the most vulnerable and helping to prevent and manage local outbreaks.

“There are a number of test sites in the city now and tests are much easier and faster to get.”

When and how you should get a test

If you develop any of the symptoms of Covid-19:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

You must follow the rules to self-isolate with other members of your household straight away and book a test to find out if you have coronavirus.

If you test positive, you must share information promptly about your recent contacts through the NHS test and trace service to help them alert other people who may also need to self-isolate.