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Agenda item

COVID 19 Update


Councillor Sue Lukes, Executive Member for Community Safety and Pandemic Response, Stephen Taylor Interim Director of ASC Transformation and Jonathan O’Sullivan, Acting Director of Public Health were present, and outlined the presentation, copy interleaved


During the presentation the following main points were made


·         Adult Social Care – Winter Care plan includes distribution and reporting on distribution of infection control funding, support to roll out vaccine supporting providers with guidance, ensuring access to PPE  by providers, supporting providers with testing ability, promoting use of flu vaccine, supporting reopening of day/respite services where possible, and working to prevent hospital  admissions and supporting safe hospital discharges

·         Older Peoples Care Homes/Domiciliary Care – Following a period of relative stability in care homes increase in number of COVID cases. Staffing levels have remained relatively stable. In domiciliary care there are relatively low numbers of residents with confirmed COVID cases and not COVID related deaths, and staffing rates have stabilised

·         COVID testing is being rolled out to domiciliary staff and providers feedback is testing kits and staff tested is increasing. No shortage of PPE reported

·         Mental Health Learning and Disabilities Care Homes – there are 3 learning disabilities care homes and 5 mental health care homes in Islington and over recent months there have been small number of residents and staff cases identified via routine testing in these settings. There have been no COVID related deaths in mental health or learning disabilities care homes in Islington. Staffing levels remain stable

·         Care Homes vaccination programme – ASC supporting local health partners, and contributing to vaccination roll out for priority groups, and by 15 January residents in all older people’s care homes and extra care housing will have been offered their first COVID vaccine. Webinairs were taking place for staff

·         Health – COVID cases in Islington – as of 11 January 2021 there are a total 9053 laboratory confirmed cases in Islington

·         Of the cases with an ethnicity record 62% are white and 38% BAME, similar to borough profile. Overall there are slightly more females who have been confirmed positive. Infection rates are higher in the most deprived and lowest in least deprived areas. In the past 3 weeks rate of testing has been highest amongst other ethnic and Bangladeshi groups, and lowest amongst other black. In the past 3 weeks the testing rates have been highest amongst 20-59 year olds

·         In response to a question as to the take up of vaccinations amongst the community, particularly some BAME communities, it was stated that it was hoped that this would improve once it is seen that the vaccine is not harmful and safe uptake will improve

·         Second walk in testing centre established at Sobell Centre, and sites for asymptomatic testing set up

·         Local contact tracing is continuing and went live in November and there is a call handling team who work 9-7, 7 days a week and the success rate is 83%. There has been increase in cases since 24 December

·         Roll out of COVID 19 vaccination begin at end of December and will be ramped up over the coming weeks. All residents in older people’s care homes and extra care scheme have been offered the vaccine and there are 2 primary care centres giving vaccinations at Bingfield and Hanley Road practices. Local hospitals are vaccinating health and care workers those in hospitals and those in priority groups visiting for appointments. The Business Design Centre will be the largest vaccination site from February, and it is expected some pharmacies will be giving vaccines

·         Protection of care homes, domiciliary social care and NHS – supporting providers to implement the latest infection control guidance and best practices, routing testing of residents and staff, no admission of residents who have tested positive for COVID 19, and still infectious into care homes

·         In relation to whether there was enough vaccine supply in the borough, it was stated that there had been issues with supply, however it is hoped that these had now been resolved and more vaccine would become available

·         Discussion took place as to difference between lateral flow and PCR tests and that is important that if a person is symptomatic they should go the Government website and follow the instructions for testing

·         Noted that community engagement, faith leaders and BAME forum is taking place to encourage take up of vaccinations, and there had been an increase of 20% in take up from December to January

·         In response to vaccinations as to sheltered accommodation residents, it was stated that residents would be  dealt with in priority order, as there were often residents in sheltered accommodation in their 60’s with no health problems

·         Health – Noted that since the publication of the report there had been a decrease of approximately a third in infections, and there were currently 1350 confirmed cases, however this is still higher than at any point since mid -December. There had been a reduction across all age groups

·         There had been an increase in COVID deaths and it was expected that this would continue into the next few weeks at least

·         Reference was made to the increase in positive tests amongst the Bangladeshi and other black communities, however this could be as a result of increased testing

·         A Member stated that it would be useful if Members could be provided with a ward breakdown of infection rates, and it was stated that whilst this could be provided it was an ever-changing position, however more work needed to be undertaken to see where infections were taking place such as in the workplace and travelling as restrictions were not as great as the first national lockdown. The Executive Member Health and Social Care stated that the GOV.UK website detailed the number of infections per postcode



That details of infection rates by ward be circulated to Members



The Chair thanked Councillor Lukes, Stephen Taylor and Jonathan O’Sullivan for attending

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