As COVID infection numbers in Solihull continue to rise, Solihull Council’s Chief Executive, Nick Page and Director of Public Health, Ruth Tennant are urging residents and local businesses to keep doing the right thing for Solihull and carry on with COVID-safety measures despite Monday’s easing of legal restrictions.

“Solihull’s infection figures are now the worst in the West Midlands and have been rising very rapidly. I am really concerned that this rising rate of infections could undo much of the hard work of the past months of lockdown and the recent relaxations. This week we have had over 1000 new cases and recorded our highest daily number of cases this Wednesday.

“The main age group affected is 18-24 year olds, but it is spreading to other age groups and the hospitals are reporting people in their late 20s and early 30s being admitted who are very sick with COVID. Most of them are not vaccinated or have not had both doses.

“Getting vaccinated is the best thing we can all do and I’d like to thank the 147,000 residents who have had their jabs. There’s still 30,000 of you who need your first dose and a further 57,000 waiting to get their second.

“And while we wait for the vaccine programme to protect more of us, we must continue with social distancing, wearing face coverings in crowded places, on public transport and when we are around more vulnerable people, particularly in health settings or care homes.

“Keep washing and sanitising our hands and wherever possible meet up outside and if you are meeting up indoors, make sure there’s good ventilation. Keep getting tested – you don’t want to unknowingly pass this terrible virus onto friends, family or work colleagues.

“COVID is not just a heavy ‘cold’ or ‘a touch of flu’ and there are many people who have caught it who are suffering from ‘Long COVID’, with symptoms. 14% of people who get COVID have symptoms that go on for at least 12 weeks. Long COVID tends to affect a younger age group including people who may not have had severe COVID symptoms.
“Please, I urge businesses and residents to keep doing the simple things that have kept us safe over the past year despite the allure of Monday’s relaxations. Hands, face, space and fresh air.

“If we keep doing the right things we can control these rising infections and together keep everyone