Earlier today the Government announced that the Dorset Council area will go into Tier 3 (Very High) from 00:01am on Thursday 31 December.
A strain of coronavirus has already reached Dorset according to new data – and could have been in the county in early December. The case rate in the Dorset Council area has meanwhile nearly doubled according to fresh data from Public Health England.
In the Dorset Council area, the seven-day rolling rate has risen from 44.4 (168 cases) to December 11 to 79.5 (301 cases) up to December 18. Whilst the rate of infection remains lower than many areas of the country this is a significant rise and given the increased rate of infection associated with the new strain suggest a potentially worrying trend.
To illustrate how quickly infection rates can rise, just over the border in Somerset they have seen a 700% rise in infections in the Cheddar and Axbridge area.
Bridport South and West Bay, covers the southern part of Bridport below East Road roundabout, as well as Bothenhamton and the coastal West Bay. Public Health England had not reported a coronavirus cluster within this area since the pandemic began. But this area has now reported five new cases of Covid-19, according to the latest available statistics up to Saturday, December 19.
It is therefore even more important that we remain vigilant and do everything we can to protect ourselves and those around us if we are to keep the rate of infection as low as possible locally. By doing so we reduce the level of risk of infection and minimise the level of strain placed on the local NHS and emergency services.
It is for the reason that we have been moved into Tier 3. The main restrictions under Tier 3 are:
- no mixing of households indoors, apart from support bubbles
- pubs and bars must remain closed, unless operating takeaway services
- work from home if you can
- shops remain open
A printable poster summarising the Tier 3 Very High Alert restrictions can be downloaded at:
There is a light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel. Vaccinations are already being given to the most vulnerable in Bridport and the announcement today that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved will enable this process to be speeded up. In the meantime it is important to remember that one in three people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and will be spreading it without realising it.
Don’t forget to continue to do the basics, ‘Hands. Face. Space’:
hands: wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds
face: wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet
space: stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings)
One of the reasons the number of cases has been low in Bridport when compared to other areas is that we are very good at following the rules. I am always impressed by the number of people wearing masks, sanitising and maintaining social distances when I am in town. For all our sakes I ask you to please remain vigilant, do the basics and follow the Tier 3 rules.