Doncaster "stuck together in difficult times," says health boss in final Covid update

Doncaster’s health chief has used his final Covid update to praise the town for sticking together in difficult times.

By Darren Burke
Monday, 28th March 2022, 1:13 pm

Dr Rupert Suckling, Director of Public Health in Doncaster, has spent the last two years giving weekly updates on the town’s coronavirus situation.

But he has confirmed that last Friday's update will be his last regular weekly briefing as the town learns to live with Covid, despite rates rising once more.

He said: “I’m sure we’ve all welcomed the sun shining this week, and with an upturn in weather and the clocks going forward on Sunday ,we have officially reached the end of winter and we’re heading into spring.

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Dr Rupert Suckling is signing off his weekly updates.

“Whilst this winter may not have been quite as difficult as last year, the majority of which we spent in lockdown, we have still had some major difficulties to overcome.

“The Omicron variant of Covid arrived in Doncaster just before Christmas and resulted in the highest rates by far we have seen throughout the whole pandemic and a return of some restrictions.

"Thankfully the success of the vaccination and booster roll-out provided us with a strong wall of protection, but sadly a number of people were still seriously ill and passed away due to the virus.

“We have also recently dealt with flooding in areas across the borough; luckily we didn’t see a repeat of the widespread devastation of November 2019, but some homes were still impacted. Once again our teams were out working tirelessly to ensure the safety of all our residents and supporting the Environment Agency as water was pumped from Fishlake.

“We’ve all been dealing with plenty of other winter strains too; pressures on our healthcare systems, classroom closures due to Covid outbreaks and an increase in fuel prices as we face a cost of living crisis.

“However throughout this, as ever, the Doncaster community has remained resolute in sticking together and getting through difficult times.

“We can now look forward to spring and summer but as we leave winter behind, there are still some challenges to come.

“Guests have already begun arriving in Doncaster due to the Ukraine conflict. We are still in the early stages of a fast moving situation but we’re working with partners to ensure guests receive as much support as possible.

“Our Covid rates have also seen quite a steep rise in recent weeks. This has translated into hospital admissions – numbers have doubled in the last two weeks.

“I expect us to see these relatively high figures for the next month or so, but as the weather improves and we socialise outdoors more, this should eventually plateau over the summer.

“These rates are once again a reminder that Covid is still circulating in the community and we should all continue to balance the risks.

“Wearing face coverings in crowded, enclosed spaces, staying home when unwell, washing our hands regularly, meeting outdoors where possible and getting vaccinated (if you haven’t yet) are all ways we can keep ourselves and each other safe.

“This will be my last regular update as we move away from winter, and this email will revert to a news update from next Friday, but you may hear from me every now and again with updates through the spring and summer.

“Thank you and let’s enjoy the spring and better weather.”