Businesses urged to take Delta seriously

Sandwell’s director of public health Dr Lisa McNally has urged local people not to take chances with safety – and this includes businesses taking care of their staff and customers.

“In just a few short weeks the Delta variant has become the dominant strain in the UK,” she said. “And all the signs are, it’s only just got started.”

Delta is more contagious than previous strains, and anyone infected is nearly twice as likely to end up in hospital than with previous variants. This means that socialising with friends or family indoors is becoming increasingly dangerous.

It’s up to all of us to play our part in keeping infection rates as low as possible, protecting our friends, family neighbours and colleagues, and avoiding another lockdown. Any extra pressure put on the NHS could see death rates creeping up, and infection rates are growing much faster in communities and areas where vaccination rates are low.

Lisa is urging people to continue to do all they can to avoid infection, so Think Sandwell has compiled a list of the key measures businesses and business people can take to keep our community safe:

  • Get vaccinated, and urge your colleagues, staff and customers to get vaccinated too.
  • Promote the importance of getting BOTH jabs. Only having half a dose leaves you vulnerable to infection.
  • Don’t have visitors in your home or workplace, and allow staff to continue to work from home if at all possible.
  • Continue to wash hands, wear masks and stay socially distanced, and to strictly enforce these measures in the workplace.
  • Visit the Think Sandwell coronavirus pages for further advice, guidance and resources.

Lisa outlined what Sandwell is doing to combat infection. “We’re not scaling back, quite the reverse. We remain on full alert. We’ve put more staff on our seven-day response and contact tracing, and the council is continuing to work with the NHS to support their efforts. We’re now getting community pharmacies to offer jabs, and we’re setting up pop-up clinics. Even the mobile library van has been converted to give jabs!”

It is up to each of us to make the decision to do what we can to help ourselves and others around us. As Lisa said, “We’ve come so far – let’s not blow it now.”