Over a thousand cases have been identified in Jersey since Christmas Eve bringing the total official number to 2,120 with 18 currently in hospital.
Since 24 December, 776 islanders have recovered from covid whilst 1,385 have tested positive for covid. The number of direct contacts stands at 5,802.
There are currently 18 islanders with covid in hospital, six more than on Christmas Eve.
Statistics Update:— Government of Jersey (@GovJersey) December 29, 2021
There are currently 18 active cases in hospital.
The number of active cases on the Island is 2120.
There have been 1385 new cases and 776 recoveries since Friday 24 December. pic.twitter.com/8xFZYISLib
The surge in cases came after a four-day weekend, which saw delays in the treatment of test results.
On Tuesday, the Government reported the coronavirus helpline was experiencing a high volume of calls. They also acknowledged “a delay to some of the test results” from Monday, which they said the team were processing these results.
Express understands members of staff on the helpline told islanders the delays were caused by staff shortages in the lab on Monday which meant 300 samples had to be processed on Tuesday.
However, the Government rejected the information given and said there were no such shortages and said the delays had been caused by a higher than expected number of tests.
“Staffing in the laboratory for this period was as per the roster, with no shortages," a spokesperson for the Government said. "The number of staff working in the laboratory is determined by the volume of predicted tests.
"During the Bank Holiday, there were more PCR tests than anticipated. This, along with a technical requirement to re-run some samples, resulted in a significantly busier day than usual. As a result, staff stayed on past their finish times to work through the backlog, with some samples delayed to the following day. However, all samples were processed within the 24 hours maximum turnaround time.”
We are aware there is a delay to some of the test results from yesterday, and the team are working to process these results. If your call is not answered straight away, please stay on the line and we will get to you as quickly as we can. Thank you for your patience.— Government of Jersey (@GovJersey) December 28, 2021
A few minutes after announcing the latest statistics, the Government said that from today (30 December), patients in the General Hospital and the Mental Health Ward would only be allowed two named visitors, with only one of them able to time at a time. They said this was due to "increased circulation of covid-19".
The changes also apply to children, meaning that visiting children will not be able to visit a patient with an additional person.
All visitors will have to wear masks and provide evidence of a Lateral Flow, either a photo of the test or the actual test cartridge, taken on the day on their visit.
From tomorrow, due to increased circulation of Covid-19 on the Island, the General Hospital and Mental Health Ward In-patients will be allowed 2 named visitors only. Patients can have one visitor at a time. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/VMnlJaXAM0— Government of Jersey (@GovJersey) December 29, 2021
Meanwhile, there are only a few days before the introduction of a new set of measures which were announced earlier this month.
Working from home: islanders should work from home where possible from 4 January. This is not mandatory, but employers are being advised to encourage home-working when it is practical to do so.
Masks: it will be a legal requirement to wear a mask in all indoor public places. The precise details of this official order will be published in the coming days, but it will not include activities where masks can’t be worn, such as exercising, eating, drinking and singing.
Boosters: everyone over 18 will now be able to book for a ‘booster’ at the Fort. It is hoped that all eligible islanders will be able to have receive their third dose by mid-Janaury.
'Fully vaccinated' definition: the definition of ‘Fully Vaccinated’ – which has a bearing on whether people are PCR tested at the Airport or Harbour – will change from two jabs + two weeks, to three jabs + two weeks from 4 January. After that time, arrivals who aren’t fully vaccinated by this new definition will have to isolate until they have a negative result.
Travel: The ‘recently recovered’ rule – whereby arrivals did not need to be tested if they could prove they had had covid within 11 to 90 days of travelling to Jersey – will be suspended from 4 January.
Defending the timing of the measures’ introduction in mid-December, the Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, said that they were not needed at the time, adding that the later introduction was in the interest of “the wellbeing of the community”.
He, however, added that testing people at the borders who have not been 'triple jabbed' – requiring that they have to isolate until a negative PCR test – may be brought in before the 4 January if the personnel and systems can be ready earlier. So far no such change has been made.
Likewise, plans to reduce the isolation period for vaccinated islanders with covid have not been introduced.
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