Doncaster councillor urges people to keep wearing masks on public transport as town's case rate hits highest since Covid-19 pandemic began
A senior Doncaster councillor has urged people to continue to wear a facemask on public transport after many of the Covid-19 restrictions come to the end.
This follows the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday, that the legal requirement to wear masks in enclosed public spaces and on public transport will end on July 19.
Nigel Ball, cabinet member for public health, said that Doncaster now had the highest recorded rate of Covid-19 at any point since the pandemic began in March 2020.
The councillor also revealed that 400 school children and staff have the virus and over 6,000 pupils and staff are self-isolating at this time in Doncaster.
The borough now has 626 positive cases per 100,000 people and infections almost doubled in a week from 1,024 to 1,889.
But due to the vaccine roll-out – where 80 per cent have had one dose and 67 per cent fully jabbed – this has not transpired into a rapid surge of hospital admissions.
It was reported last week that all those in intensive care had not been vaccinated and were all under the age of 40. Others within the hospital needing oxygen treatment had also not had a jab.
At a meeting of the full council, Coun Ball expressed his condolences to families who had lost someone to Covid-19 and urged people to get a vaccine.
“The number of new cases in Doncaster have been rising sharply since the beginning of June. In fact, the rate of new cases is now the highest rate seen in Doncaster at any point of the pandemic so far,” Coun Ball said.
“This is consistent with what is happening in neighbouring areas and is due to the new Delta variant.
“Current modelling suggests that COVID-19 cases will continue to rise as restrictions are eased. Hospitalisations, serious illness and deaths will also continue, albeit hopefully at a much lower level than before the vaccination programme.
“As a result of this, the council will now provide advice and support to keep community transmission as low as possible, continue to protect those who remain vulnerable while enabling safe social and economic activity as much as possible.
“People should not assume that everything will be back to normal when restrictions ease on Monday. Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis made the right and proper decision yesterday to make mandatory mask wearing within our interchanges within South Yorkshire.
“We encourage people to do this and indeed keep their masks on whilst on public transport. We also encourage all residents to be vigilant, be careful and be mindful of their activities and situations.
“Our people, our communities, our volunteers, our carers, our key workers, our businesses, your council and our NHS have all had a role to play in this and have all worked hard to help and protect everyone during this pandemic.”