People in Lichfield and Burntwood have been told “COVID-19 preys on complacency” as England prepares to move into another national lockdown.
The comments came from Cllr Alan White, leader of Staffordshire County Council, following Boris Johnson’s confirmation of the increased coronavirus restrictions.
The move means schools will closed to most pupils from tomorrow (5th January) until 15th February.
Cllr White said the new lockdown showed why people needed to adhere to rules on coronavirus.
“Many people have already sacrificed so much and this will be devastating news for our residents, businesses and schools.
“However, despite the Tier 4 restrictions, cases are continuing to rise and the Government has decided that a third lockdown is needed to help the NHS becoming overwhelmed by this virus once again.
“While nobody wants to see further restricitons imposed, it is clear that COVID-19 preys on complacency.
“So our message is clear – please act now and think of the impact of you spreading the virus may have not just on you, but on your family, your friends, your colleagues and your community.
“As a county council, our focus will remain on providing the best support for residents and businesses most in need.
“We now need the support of people who live and work in Staffordshire like never before to see us to a time when the promise of the vaccines can be fully delivered and their benefits truly felt.”Cllr Alan White, Staffordshire County Council
Other key changes from midnight mean people can only go out for essential reasons – such as shopping for food and limited exercise – and must work from home if they can.
People who have previously shielded will be asked to do so again.
In Staffordshire, the average seven-day Covid-19 rate has climbed to around 400 per 100,000 population. The West Midlands rate is around 465 and the national rate around 560. Cannock Chase, South Staffordshire and East Staffordshire already have rates of more than 500 per 100,000 population.
Dr Richard Harling, the county council’s director of health and care, said the Staffordshire infection rate had jumped to around 400 per 100,000 people.
“Like everywhere, rates are spreading at an alarming rate in Staffordshire.
“While nobody wants further restrictions, the best chance of making sure we return to the freedoms we once knew is by sticking to the rules
“One third of people who have the virus don’t show any symptoms. So, if you can’t stay at home because of work then please do get a test if asked to do so, even if you have no symptoms as identifying more people who have the virus, so they can self-isolate, will help us reduce the spread of infection.”Dr Richard Harling