Agenda item

The Director of Public Health to report, including an update on testing and contact tracing.


The Chair of CCG will provide an update on vaccination data and boosters and general system pressures. To include data on hospital admissions and vaccination status.


The Director of Public Health reported on testing and contact tracing. He commented that regarding Plan B, there would be a national review of measures due to be announced on 26 January, when restrictions may be lifted around working from home and testing, which may lead to further mixing and therefore increase in transmission and cases. Less people were reporting positive tests, which may be in part due to less people taking LFTs; there had also been an issue in supply of LFTs which reduced people’s ability to regularly test. The council was prioritising testing kits for vulnerable people.


The Chair of the CCG then provided an update on vaccination data and boosters and general system pressures, including data on hospital admissions and vaccination status.


There was a slight increase in the number of patients in hospital, 222 patients in hospital yesterday tested positive.  Data suggested that numbers would peak in the next week but they were currently better than expected.  This was partly due to Omicron being less likely to produce severe symptoms combined with a good uptake of the vaccination booster programme, helping to reduce the number of hospitalisations. Only 2 patients were currently in intensive care being treated for Covid, which was much lower than the first two waves.


Nationally, 6 out of 10 people in intensive care have not had any vaccination, 3 out of 10 not had the booster, and only 1 out of 10 people in hospital having had all 3 vaccinations.


Staff absences – there was a slight drop from 43% down to 39% staff absences over the past week. There was still a significant number of staff not available, but the situation slightly improving.


85% of eligible people in Devon had now had a booster.


By 3 February, all frontline staff will have to have had their first vaccination to be double vaccinated by April in line with Government policy - currently 95% of frontline staff have had 2 doses.  There was 5% of staff not double vaccinated which would impact on staffing capacity.


Members asked questions and the following matters were raised in discussion:


  • The voluntary sector was seeing questions raised through helplines, around people needing Boosters but being asked if there was any data around the 1 in 10 people that get ill despite being fully vaccinated? The clinical details or age profiles of the 1% was unknown. However data did show that the level of protection from receiving a booster increased by 85% - and it was mainly vulnerable individuals most at risk of still becoming ill despite having booster.
  • Regarding queries about oral vaccination treatments, Board Members were advised that there were two treatments becoming available – one was an injection for vulnerable individuals, delivered through the hospital who were notifying individuals, specifically those with weak immune systems and they would receive instructions on being referred. The second was with regard to anti-viral medicines via tablets which would soon be available, again aimed at those individuals with significant immune deficiency and they would also be contacted by the hospitals if they would require treatment.