Elmbridge moved into Tier Two at a minute past midnight on the morning of Saturday 17 October. Many people are wondering what information this decision was based on.
We have been told that the decision to go ‘high’ is based on a variety of factors, not just case numbers. Trends and direction of travel are important as well as absolute values. Elmbridge Borough Council appear to believe that transmission was widespread rather than concentrated in specific clusters. On their website they write “There is evidence of widespread community transmission, not just with clusters. Therefore swift action had to be taken to try to prevent a further rise in cases in Elmbridge.”
By putting several weekly reports of the Covid 19 stats for Elmbridge into a table (below) it is possible to see trends in Elmbridge. What is clear is that in early October there was a sharp increase in cases and this has continued through to 16th October.
Data reported below is taken from the tables produced weekly by Surrey County Council’s Public Health Team, and published on the Surrey County Council website at https://www.surreycc.gov.uk
Table showing weekly and fortnightly cases of Covid 19 in Elmbridge over the period late September to end October.
Since the introduction of Tier Two measures, the data show a decrease in the rate of growth of numbers testing positive.
Improvement since 16 October?
Data added since we went into Tier Two is showing first a slowing of the rate of increase and by 30th October a decrease. The rise in 14 day figures between 16 October and 23 October is 33 cases, just 1.1 times as many in the previous full measurement period and between 23 October and 30 October we actually see a fall in number of cases.
Let’s hope this is a sustained trend and not just a blip. As this period corresponds with the school half term, it is wise to wait a couple of weeks to see if this fall is due to fewer tests being taken or is the beginning of a sustained decrease.
Are figures distorted by students away from home testing positive?
On their website EBC say “We know some of you are wondering if students testing positive elsewhere has contributed to Elmbridge’s rising cases. We did look very carefully at the data around students leaving home in Elmbridge, testing positive elsewhere and that being reported as Elmbridge data, but it only accounted for around 14% of cases which does not change the escalating trend we’ve seen or the higher numbers compared with elsewhere.”
How to get a test if you need one
In its latest advice to residents (published on Friday 23 October), Elmbridge Borough Council (EBC) advise that we now have mobile testing units in the borough as well as home testing kits. Tests are available for people who have coronavirus symptoms:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste
and must be booked through the Government website: get-coronavirus-test
Financial support for individuals self-isolating
The EBC website also supplies advice on support that is available to eligible residents i.e. those receiving benefits and working who have had to stay at home and self-isolate after receiving a notification from NHS Test and Trace or a positive test result. See: test-and-trace-support-payments
Support for businesses
Government has also announced additional funding to support businesses via cash grants of up to £2,100 per month. These are primarily for businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sector who may be adversely impacted by the restrictions in high-alert level areas. Government guidance on the operation of this scheme is not yet available. When it is, it will be published on the EBC website at: business-grants