Merepark Medical Centre COVID-19 advice to patients post 19th July 2021

Merepark Medical Centre COVID-19 advice to patients post 19th July 2021

After the 19th of July and Step 4 of the national COVID road map out of lockdown, many of the existing control measures will no longer be a legal requirement for us to follow.  However, our infection rates remain high in the area and are continuing to increase.  Given the rising infections locally and changes to the national COVID-19 restrictions, we are asking those visiting Merepark Medical Centre to go above and beyond the minimum guidance required.  This will also support the recovery of our local businesses and the wider economy, as increased transmission of the virus will result in major disruptions if staff are unable to work due to being unwell with COVID-19 or are legally required to self-isolate.  Please continue all the good work that has helped reduce the spread of the virus and protected our community and loved ones over the past 16 months.

The vaccination programme has weakened the link between infection, the risk of serious illness and loss of life. This is encouraging, but unfortunately it is not the end of the story. A massive rise in infections will impact on our unvaccinated children and teenagers and those who have not been vaccinated.  We have seen a tremendous uptake of our local vaccine programme so far 51,158 and would like to thank the volunteers that have made this possible.

Another danger of significant continued COVID-19 transmission is the risk of another mutation of the virus that could make it easier to catch and/or reduce the effectiveness of the current vaccines.

We would encourage patients to:

  • Get fully vaccinated – it’s shown to be safe and effective against the virus, and is the best way to keep yourself from getting seriously ill. It also reduces the risk of passing the virus on to someone else.
  • Be kind and considerate of others who may be feeling extremely nervous about the further lifting of restrictions.
  • Continue wearing face coverings if able in crowded indoor areas where social distancing cannot be followed, such as supermarkets and on public transport, in health and social care settings, such as hospitals, care homes and GP surgeries, and where it would make others feel more comfortable.
  • Continue social distancing by not unnecessarily being in crowded areas and continuing to work from home if possible.
  • Continue to practice good hand hygiene, in particular hand washing
  • Keep getting tested – everyone can undertake twice weekly rapid symptom free testing using Lateral Flow Tests (LFT). If people experience generally associated symptoms such as a headache, a stuffed or runny nose, tiredness or weakness, aches and pains, sore throat or diarrhoea, we would suggest an LFT and follow up with a PCR test if the LFT test is positive. If people have any of the main symptoms of COVID-19 such as a high temperature, a new continuous cough or loss or change to their sense of smell or taste the guidance remains stay at home and book a PCR test.
  • Self-isolate if you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, especially if you work in a high-risk setting.

It is difficult to say when this way of living will end, but winter is likely to be challenging.  After months of isolated lives, other infectious diseases are likely to increase. But, by maintaining our good practices in hand hygiene, face coverings and social distancing, our behaviours will all have a positive effect on reducing their impact.  This will protect our community and loved ones as it has done since the start of the pandemic.  Thank you once again to all of you. We’ve done so much by all working together and playing our part. We are asking that we all continue to look after each other and turn this around together.

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