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COVID cases are very high in Ealing

COVID cases have risen again, council leader Julian Bell explains in his latest update. At the end of Councillor Bell’s video this week are two short videos from local young people giving their views on Black History Month. So, please do watch to the end by going on the Council’s YouTube channel.

So, for the week ending the 25 October we’ve had 229 cases per 100,000 population in the borough, says Councillor Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council in his latest coronavirus video message (see above).

So, for the weekend ending the 25 October we’ve had 229 new COVID cases per 100,000 of population in the borough. That is a 42% rise rom the week before, and unfortunately, that means that we’ve got the highest level of infection in the capital.

We are above, obviously, the London average, and also the north west London average. But, we are just around the same for the average in England as a whole.

Now, in terms of where that takes us going forward, obviously if that rate of increase of 42% continues then we will be moving towards where Tier 3 can be considered. Leicester moved to Tier 3 when they had 450 COVID cases per 100,000 (of population). So, we really do need to make a big effort, to try to stop the spread of the virus.

Why is the virus spreading?

Now, why is this virus spreading so quickly? I think there is multi-factual reasons behind this. We’re a large borough with a highly dense population. We’ve got a high burden of long-term health conditions amongst our population. We also have lots of inter-generational families and households, with extended families that are well connected.

We also have a very high testing rate which is a good thing, people going to get tests. But, unfortunately, another reason why we may have this high rate
is because the national test and trace system has let us down. We’ve got quite low rates of contact tracing through that system.

We’re going to start our own enhanced local test and trace system going forward, and we hope that will improve things. We are also enforcing where our businesses are not complying with the rules. We have fined two businesses £10,000 for not following COVID-19 guidance. And they’ve also lost their licenses.

Follow the rules

Could I encourage people, if they do have any symptoms to get a test and to self-isolate. It’s really important that people isolate if they’ve got the symptoms because it is that transmission between households and between individuals when people are not isolating that cause the increase that we’ve seen.

Follow the rules, no mixing of households indoors, either in our homes, pubs, restaurants or cafes. Wear a face covering. Wash your hands. Keep social distancing and just try to minimise our contacts with others.

Halloween safely

Now, it is Halloween tomorrow, please celebrate it at home, in your own households. There are lots of ideas in the newsletter that goes out every week, about ideas to celebrate at home, within your own household Halloween. So, don’t mix households indoors, if you do go out keep to the rule of six and remember that rule of six includes children as well.

So, enjoy Halloween. Try to do it indoors, in your own households. And stay safe.

Free school meals

Now I just wanted to talk about free school meals and to give a huge thank you to businesses, faith organisations and voluntary groups who stepped forward when the government refused to fund free school meals over half-term.

A huge thank you for the really generous responses that we’ve been receiving.

Now, as Ealing Council we’ve also donated £50,000 to Ealing Food Bank over half-term. We’ve also provided £15 free school meal vouchers for those children who are eligible.

We’ve had thousands of applications for these through the online form on our website. We have had a bit of a delay in processing those, so please be patient and it is not too late if you want to apply still, for those free school meal vouchers.

So, enjoy Halloween and stay safe.

And finally, please watch the video until the very end to see the two young people from Bollo Brook speak about Black History Month.

Council leader Julian Bell
Council leader Julian Bell

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