More than 2,000 people are now recorded as having covid in Jersey, with just short of 11,000 direct contacts and 10 people in hospital.
The number of people in hospital is a rise of three compared to yesterday. It is unclear if the individuals are in hospital to be treated specifically for covid or other conditions.
Of the 205 cases identified in the past 24 hours, 98 were contact traced, 65 were feeling unwell and seeking healthcare, 23 were identified via workforce screening, 14 via border testing, four through cohort screening and one tested positive on admission to a health setting.
Since Thurs 15 July, 28 individuals have recovered and 205 new cases have been identified (65 through seeking healthcare, 14 through inbound travel, 1 through admissions screening, 23 through planned workforce screening, 4 through cohort screening and 98 through contact tracing). pic.twitter.com/k97uy9gUjJ— Government of Jersey (@GovJersey) July 16, 2021
Nine care home residents still have the virus. The Government confirmed to Express earlier this week that the “majority” were vaccinated and some were showing “mild” symptoms of the illness.
10,924 people are direct contacts – they do not have to isolate unless they test positive, and, as of yesterday, only have to take one test.
Deputy Rob Ward, who last night held an urgent Scrutiny hearing given the island’s new guidance to wear masks again and work from home amid rapidly rising case numbers predicted to reach 500 per day by next week, described the current number of people in hospital with the virus as “avoidable.”
2083 active cases on island. 10 in hospital. Avoidable. https://t.co/D4C00Cw1Nj— Deputy Rob Ward (Reform Jersey) (@deputyrobward) July 16, 2021
Recently released STAC minutes from 7 June reflected medics’ concerns about Ministers’ desire to relax travel rules given the risks posed by the Delta variant.
Interim CEO Paul Martin was recorded as having “requested STAC to consider enabling fully vaccinated travellers from Emergency Brake areas to be allowed to be treated as arriving from ‘Green’ zones.”
Medical Director Dr Patrick Armstrong was clear that it was too soon to “declare victory” against covid and relax the policy by removing the amber category, with the minutes noting that most members of the advisory panel “were not comfortable” with removing the classification.
Pictured: There are still nine people with covid in care homes.
Competent Authority Ministers – the island’s emergency decision-makers by law - pressed ahead with the move to remove amber just days later and also agreed with Mr Martin's emergency brake suggestion.
Competent Authority Ministers include the Chief Minister, Health Minister, Economic Development Minister, Infrastructure Minister and Home Affairs Minister.
Chief Scrutineer Senator Kristina Moore clashed with the Health Minister on the topic at last night’s emergency hearing, touching on how the desire to open up had actually led businesses to close and may stop people wishing to visit the island.
Scrutiny’s Safer Travel Guidelines Review Panel questioned the Chief Minister, Senator @John_Le_Fondre, and the Health and Social Services Minister, Deputy Richard Renouf, at an urgent public hearing. Below are the Panel’s key takeaways pic.twitter.com/y7xx5L0v87— States Assembly (@StatesAssembly) July 15, 2021
Deputy Renouf responded that the intention had been to “balance the harms” caused by restrictions, arguing that long isolation periods at the time were a greater harm to the community at the time than harm caused directly by the virus.
Elsewhere in the hearing, it was confirmed that the Government did not have a figure in mind for the top number of infections they were willing to accept in the community.
Acting Medical Officer for Health Dr Ivan Muscat MBE explained that the focus was on the smaller number of severely affected people with covid, rather than the total number of cases.
This morning, Home Affairs Minister Deputy Gregory Guida and Home Affairs Director General Julian Blazeby were grilled by Scrutiny over the recent test and trace chaos.
The pair admitted that the service had been overwhelmed recently, and said that they needed more staff than in November and December to carry out testing.
At 10:30am tomorrow, the Minister for Home Affairs, Deputy Gregory Guida, will be questioned by the Children, Education and Home Affairs Scrutiny Panel at a Quarterly Public Hearing.— States Assembly (@StatesAssembly) July 15, 2021
WATCH LIVE here: https://t.co/HxZT4Q8ZYw@deputyrobward @t_vallois @LouDoublet pic.twitter.com/iQyyWYRDBo
Deputy Rob Ward also pointed out that the test and trace app was still telling people to isolate when they no longer need to – a decision was made more than a week ago that direct contacts would be allowed to avoid isolation if they agreed to be tested and didn’t receive a positive result.
Currently, two out of three islanders are fully vaccinated, with 58% of 18 to 29-year-olds having taken their first dose of the vaccine.
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