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Public health official explains reasons for slower falling COVID-19 case rate in Slough

Public health official explains reasons for slower falling COVID-19 case rate in Slough

A public health official has outlined some of the reasons why Slough’s COVID-19 infection rate is not falling as quickly as other parts of the country.

Figures from Public Health England show the weekly rate of confirmed new cases per 100,000 people in the town stood at 296.9 on Thursday.

This compares to an infection rate of 102.4 in the neighbouring Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and 163.3 in the London Borough of Hillingdon.

Sue Foley, public health consultant at Slough Borough Council, told a meeting of the council’s health scrutiny panel on Thursday: “Cases are coming down which is fantastic but it’s slower than the rest of the country.

“In the rest of the country most places are coming down because of the national lockdown but for Slough it’s just at a slower rate, hence Tier 3.”

She added Slough’s population has a higher chance of being infected and experiencing serious illness due to the borough having a higher number of people from the BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) community and a large number of people working in front-facing jobs, increasing the risk of contracting COVID-19.

The town also has a large number of people with conditions which make serious COVID-19 illness more likely and the densely populated areas of the town make social distancing more challenging, she added.

Conservative councillor Wayne Strutton asked Ms Foley whether the council needed to be tougher on its enforcement alongside the police to break-up large gatherings while the town is subject to coronavirus restrictions.

Ms Foley responded: “It’s a two-way communication, it’s about enforcement and seeing that enforcement is happening and people will get fined.

“But it’s also about getting the message out there that these restrictions are in place and we need to get the rates down and work as a whole community.”

Labour councillor Fiza Matloob (Lab, Baylis and Stoke) asked whether the town could expect to see members of the armed forces deployed in Slough to help carry out testing, like was seen with the rollout of mass testing in Liverpool last month.

Ms Foley said: “The way Armed Forces would be deployed is if they were assisting in the lateral flow testing like in Liverpool but that’s only by request.

“It’s highly likely we’re going to start with more targeted testing because that’s considered to be more effective.”

Slough’s Tier 3 status is expected to be reviewed on December 16.

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  • SpeakasIfind

    11:59, 04 December 2020

    Be_Transparent, I couldnt agree with you more! I was in Tescos one evening the other week, and it would appear that I was the only person in the entire store wearing a mask and observing the 2M rule. That includes customers and staff! it doesnt take a genius to say it but.... Wearing a uniform doesnt protect you from Covid!

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  • be_ transparent

    10:46, 04 December 2020

    Covid really likes people who cough on their hands and then pick stuff up off shop shelves and then put it back. Covid likes people who don't socially distance. Covid loves those that ignore the guidelines. I love the way Ms Foley tries to explain away Slough's dismal performance on infection rates with lefty concepts to do with ethnicity and poverty, when the real issues are far simpler, but for obvious reasons avoided by officials as it would mean some work :- lack of compliance to the guidelines, and poor enforcement. It is not society's fault or the governments fault COVID is spreading, its OURS !!!

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  • SpeakasIfind

    18:43, 03 December 2020

    The reasons are simple : PEOPLE ARENT OBEYING THE GUIDELINES! 2 METRES DISTANCE! WEAR A MASK! SANITISE! its an embarrassment that Slough is the only Tier 3 town for miles!

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