FESTIVE BREAK: critical services such as home care and within care homes will be maintained

By Lucy Ashton

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s update to Parliament on Covid on 29 December confirmed there would be no immediate change to either current restrictions or guidance in response to the pandemic.

Nationally 15,849 positive cases were recorded, the highest daily case number in the pandemic to date. The new Omicron variant accounted for around 80% of all cases.

The FM, pictured right,  said it was reasonable to assume there would be steep increases in cases in the days and weeks ahead.

She advised that recent studies have suggested the risk of hospitalisation is lower for Omicron and the data on this particular aspect would inform the approach in the weeks ahead.

Ms Sturgeon said it was important to slow transmission as much as possible and appealed for people to continue to follow guidance: stay at home as much as possible over Hogmanay, New Year and for at least the first week in January, and to limit the size of any indoor social gatherings that do take place to three households.

Meanwhile, Amanda Graham, pictured left, the council communications officer, has briefed councillors that the current rate of positive cases in West Dunbartonshire is 1834 per 100,000 againstan NHS GGC board average of 1966.

This is the highest figure to date in the pandemic both locally, across GGC and nationally. However this significant increase has not been replicated in hospital admissions.

Currently services are continuing to deliver.  However it is recognised that challenges could emerge if cases continue to rise.

Contingency arrangements are being put in place to respond to this and ensure critical services such as home care and within care homes will be maintained.

Employees who volunteered to work in these services earlier in the pandemic have been approached and asked to assist and in addition employees who have dual roles  within care and elsewhere in the Council have also been contacted and their managers asked to release them if required to maintain services.

In addition, a guideline communication has been prepared and will be issued to all employees when they
return to work on Wednesday, 5 January, appealing for volunteers to assist in these key areas.

Given the significant increase in cases in recent days, Self-Isolation Support Grant applications are perhaps lower than may have been anticipated, with 94 new applications between December 25 and 29. Additional support has been requested from the revenue and benefits team to assist with processing.

Managers and Chief Officers will continue to monitor cases among the workforce and respond as required to any potential impact on services.

  • Both the Organisational Resilience Group and the Strategic Resilience Group met yesterday. SRG is due to meet again on 10 January, 2022.

Picture of Dumbarton by Sean Davenport of Myre Media

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