Cases of Covid-19 in North Somerset have reached the highest levels to date and are expected to continue rising, which may leave some members of the community in need of more support.
High infection rates are also putting huge pressure on the local health and social care system. The latest reported figures show 2,761 infections recorded in the previous seven days, up 50 per cent on the previous week, which gives a rate of 1,280.8 per 100,000 head of population. The number of Covid patients in local hospitals has also more than doubled in just two weeks.
This pressure, and the higher rates, may leave some members of the community in need of extra support so North Somerset residents are encouraged to keep looking out for each other during the coming weeks.
North Somerset Council executive member for health, Cllr Mike Bell, said: “During the pandemic, North Somerset communities have done an incredible job of helping and looking out for each other.
“And, while we’re working hard with our colleagues in the NHS, social care and emergency services to do everything we can to look after the most vulnerable people, the huge pressures on the system caused by Covid and increased need for services over the winter, mean we’re asking for everyone to help where they can.
“What you might think is small gesture of help for a friend, family member or elderly neighbour really can make a difference.
“Nothing’s too small. Any practical help you can give to help a loved one return home from hospital, or help stop them going into hospital, will help.”
Help for family, friends or neighbours could include:
• Checking in on them to see how they are • Getting some shopping • Checking they are eating well and drinking enough each day • Making sure they are warm and able to keep warm • Picking up their prescription or other medication • Taking their dog for a walk • Offering to feed their pet • Helping with household chores like putting the recycling or bins out, doing some laundry or helping keep their home clean • Making time to ring them for a chat
Covid may also bring extra challenges as people may need short-term help because they or those who usually support them are ill or self-isolating.
If friends, family, or neighbours cannot help, North Somerset Together is still available to connect people to local support networks. Visit www.n-somerset.gov.uk/together
The online portal also gives information about financial support available for individuals who may lose income if they need to self-isolate, and for businesses that continue to be affected by Covid.
North Somerset Council’s Director of Public Health, Matt Lenny, added: “This is a difficult time in our fight against Covid as we try to manage the impact of infection rates on other aspects of our health and wellbeing.
“The winter weather will also be having an effect, especially on our most vulnerable residents.
“But, we can reduce the impact by continuing to look after each other, and remembering that helping out with everyday tasks may seem small, but can make a massive difference to someone else's life.”