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What’s happening to the COVID-19 case rate in Devon?

2,446 positive cases of COVID-19 in Devon from 19 to 25 July 2021

Over the last week COVID-19 case rates have fallen nationally and locally, however, they are still above those seen earlier in the pandemic and it is currently unclear if this is a longer-term trend.

The highest case rates remain in the younger age groups, mostly within younger working-age adults.

The weekly rate in Devon is now 304 per 100,000 of the population, compared to 351 for England. All district areas are below the national average except Exeter, (372) and North Devon is only slightly below (349).


In this update:

  • What’s happening to the COVID-19 case rate in Devon?
  • Let’s hear it for the girls! Higher proportion of younger females to younger men vaccinated 
  • Grab a jab with no booking required at Devon’s walk-in vaccination centres
  • Sun, sea, sand and PCR tests… travelling abroad this summer
  • Campaign launched to help people get healthy this summer
don't guess, get a test

What’s happening to the COVID-19 case rate in Devon?

COVID-19 levels nationally have fallen sharply over the last week and case rates in Devon have started to fall, but it’s too soon to know if that will continue.

But while the national data looks reassuring, it would be unwise to let that reassurance lead to less cautious behaviour, experts warn. 

Tina Henry, our Deputy Director for Public Health Devon, explains:

“We’re seeing just part of a picture. Cases nationally are falling, but there have been changes that might have a bearing on that, such as schools closing for summer and the good weather which allows us to spend more time with others outside, rather than inside.” 

However, COVID-19 case rates in Devon remain higher now than those seen earlier in the pandemic, when lockdowns and further restrictions were in place.

“It’s too early to be sure where the numbers are leading,” says Tina. “The next few weeks will give us a better sense of whether this is an indication of longer term decline.” 

In the meantime, the advice is to stay alert. Here’s how you can do your bit

Gareth Southgate posted a video on Twitter encouraging young people to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Let’s hear it for the girls! Higher proportion of younger females to younger men vaccinated 

Just over 50 per cent of females aged 18 to 49 years old have now had both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, compared to just under 40 per cent of males in the same age group. 

With case levels in Devon currently higher than we’ve seen earlier in the pandemic, there has never been a more important time to get yourself protected.

England men’s football manager, Gareth Southgate, posted a video on Twitter this week, encouraging everyone to get the jab, especially younger people.

“If you haven’t had your vaccine yet, just go and get it done,” he says. 

Dr Michael Marsh, NHS England and NHS Improvement South West Medical Director, said: 

“If you’re over 18 years old you’re entitled to it and we urge you to come forward as soon as possible and get it done. It’s the only way to ensure you, your loved ones and our communities are protected.”

You can book a vaccination appointment today, using the online booking system or by calling NHS 119. Details of pharmacies and other vaccination sites offering walk-in COVID-19 vaccinations are available on the NHS website.

Get your second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Grab a jab with no booking required at Devon’s walk-in vaccination centres

It’s so easy to get your COVID-19 jab. You can book a vaccination appointment using the online booking system, calling NHS 119 or by attending a walk-in clinic.

Devon sites offering walk-in vaccinations include:

  • Exeter Vaccination Centre, Greendale, EX5 1EW – every day (except Monday 2 August and Sunday 15 August) from 8.30am to 7.00pm for all cohorts, all doses, both AstraZeneca and Pfizer (2nd dose at 8 weeks from 1st dose) 
  • University of Exeter, Streatham Campus, Car Park C, EX4 4QJ – Thursday 5 August, from 10.00am to 5.00pm, for Pfizer first and second doses (2nd dose at 8 weeks from 1st dose) 
  • Ilfracombe – The Salvation Army, The Retreat, Torrs Park, EX34 8AY –Tuesday 3 August, from 10.00am to 2.30pm, for Pfizer first and second doses (2nd dose at 8 weeks from 1st dose) 
  • Barnstaple – North Devon Leisure Centre, Seven Brethren Bank, EX31 2AP – Sunday 1 August, Monday 2 August, Tuesday 3 August and Sunday 8 August, from 8.30am to 6.00pm, for Pfizer first and second doses (2nd dose at 8 weeks from 1st dose) 

Carers who would like to have their COVID-19 vaccination but cannot leave those that they care for can access help to get their vaccination through the Devon Vaccine Support Team by emailing d-ccg.devonvaccinationsupport@nhs.net or calling 01752 398836.


testing regularly protects us all

Keep up with COVID-19 testing this summer

It’s summertime (at last!), and the livin’ might seem easy now most legal COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, but please don’t make the mistake of thinking the pandemic is over. 

Coronavirus will be a feature of our lives for the foreseeable future, so we need to learn to live with it. Regularly testing yourself to check if you have COVID-19, and self-isolating if you do have it so you don’t unknowingly infect someone else, is a vital part of controlling the virus.

If you do not have COVID-19 symptoms then you are encouraged to take a simple rapid lateral flow device (LFD) test a least twice a week, particularly when meeting with people you don’t live with – and get the results within 30 minutes.

If you do have symptoms of coronavirus, no matter how mild, get a PCR test as soon as possible and self isolate with your household until you get the results.

You can find out more about how to access COVID-19 testing in Devon on our website.

Back on the bus

Good to be back on the bus

The events of the last year have made people less confident about using public transport, particularly buses. Whether you’re a frequent bus user, or haven’t hopped on board for a while, be assured that Devon’s transport providers are keen for you to feel comfortable and confident during your journey.

While no situation is risk free, there are actions we can all take to protect ourselves and others around us when travelling on public transport. For example opening windows for ventilation, sanitising your hands regularly and covering you mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when coughing or sneezing. You could also plan your journey for quieter times of day or use routes and stops that aren’t so busy.

The legal requirement to wear face coverings on public transport in Devon has been lifted. However, the government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as on public transport.

This week we’ve been speaking to people as they travel on the bus. Come onboard and meet Wade, a key worker at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.  

Visit the Travel Devon website to find information to help you get wherever you need to be.

Don't be a selfish parker

Don’t be a selfish parker

With coronavirus restrictions easing we are now able to venture further from home and residents and visitors are enjoying more of Devon’s beautiful beaches and countryside.

As popular beauty spots get busier, selfish and anti-social parking becomes a major frustration, so drivers are being asked to be kind and respect each other and make sure they park responsibly.

This includes not leaving vehicles obstructing pavements or blocking driveways, taking up more than one space or using designated bays they are not eligible to use. Most importantly drivers should be careful not to block access for emergency vehicles.

Our civil enforcement officers work hard to keep our roads and streets clear and safe for everyone to use. They ensure that local roads are kept clear so traffic can flow, ensure that on-street parking is not abused so there’s space to park and that communities are not blighted by illegal parking.


Don’t be a selfish parker

With coronavirus restrictions easing we are now able to venture further from home and residents and visitors are enjoying more of Devon’s beautiful beaches and countryside.

As popular beauty spots get busier, selfish and anti-social parking becomes a major frustration, so drivers are being asked to be kind and respect each other and make sure they park responsibly.

This includes not leaving vehicles obstructing pavements or blocking driveways, taking up more than one space or using designated bays they are not eligible to use. Most importantly drivers should be careful not to block access for emergency vehicles.

Our civil enforcement officers work hard to keep our roads and streets clear and safe for everyone to use. They ensure that local roads are kept clear so traffic can flow, ensure that on-street parking is not abused so there’s space to park and that communities are not blighted by illegal parking.


Just think 111 first

Just think 111 first and get straight to the help you need

The holiday season traditionally puts extra pressure on health services when more residents and visitors are outdoors enjoying everything Devon has to offer. 

If you need urgent, non-life-threatening medical care, get straight to the help you need with NHS 111 either by phone or online, any time of day or night.

Local pharmacies can provide expert advice and a fast route to medication for minor ailments and are open until late and at weekends with no need for an appointment.

The HANDi app provides up-to-date advice for common childhood conditions and illnesses and how to treat them as well as information about when and how to ask for help.

suitcase

Sun, sea, sand and PCR tests… travelling abroad this summer

The summer is usually when many of us hop on a boat, train or plane to seek out some guaranteed sunshine and a well earned break abroad, but the coronavirus pandemic means travelling is not straightforward at the moment. 

We’re urging holiday goers to make sure they know what they need to do before they travel abroad and when they return to England so their trip is as safe and disruption-free as possible.

The risk posed by individual countries and territories is continuously monitored and the green, amber and red lists are regularly reviewed by the government. Countries and territories can be moved between lists if conditions change, so stay up-to-date via the government’s website. You can sign up for an email alert to be notified when the government updates their website.

Better Health, Let's Do This

Campaign launched to help people get healthy this summer

A survey of over 5,000 adults has revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted people’s eating and physical activity habits, with over 41 per cent of people in England saying that they have put on weight since the first lockdown in March 2020.

Public Health England has launched the latest Better Health campaign to encourage adults across the nation to lose excess weight, eat more healthily and get active this summer.

The NHS Better Health website offers free evidence-based support and guidance to those working towards a healthier weight and help them introduce changes that will help them eat better and get active. 

There’s also a range of NHS apps you can download, including the updated 12 week weight loss plan, couch to 5k, drink-free days, easy meals and food scanner.

Visit the NHS Better Health website for free tools and support to start leading a healthier lifestyle today.

man in shirt sleeves working at a laptop

Furlough rules change for employers on Sunday 1 August

The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, known as furlough, changes again on Sunday (1 August). 

Under the scheme, employees receive 80 per cent of their current salary, capped at £2,500 a month. 

Since the beginning of July, employers have been asked to contribute 10 per cent towards the wages of furloughed workers for hours their staff do not work. But from Sunday 1 August, and throughout August and September, employers will have to pay 20 per cent of the employees’ wages, and the government will pay 60 per cent of wages, to a maximum of £1,875. 

For more information, please visit the government’s website.

Let's keep life moving

The latest national advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) is available on the
government website and NHS website.

You can find local guidance and information about the impacts on our services on the Devon County Council website.