IoM Gov Briefing – 19th March

HQ, David, Dr Al, Dr Ewart – Special Guest Ross Bailey head of mental health

Well good afternoon everyone

Sorry we had to postpone our update yesterday

Today is also the anniversary of our first case of Covid – sad reminder

NUMBERS *snapshot*

  • Total tests 42,346

  • No results awaiting process

  • 21 new cases

  • 862 active cases

  • 20 in hospital


Nice to see those numbers going down

Also glad to see that ‘unlinked cases’ is coming down

Only four unlinked cases today – still too many

Unlink cases = uncertainty

While this continues it makes it tough to make bold decisions about changing the measures in place


The outbreak curve is doing what we want it to do – slower than we’d like to see

We’re more than two weeks into our circuit breaker, we would have expected that curve to be lower

Raises the question – why we are still seeing these cases?

Two reasons:

  • Kent Variant – Seems to give a longer infective period than other variants we’re used too. People are still being positive after day 13 test.

  • People’s behaviour – People not sticking to rules

The positivity rate – the proportion of tests of people testing positive. This is coming down, we are now down at a 6% positivity rate.

Young people and children, new cases in this age group are going right down. Good news.


Behaviour is critical

The GMP is doing the right thing by staying at home

This is protecting our most vulnerable, health service and our vax programme.

Every unexplained case risks prolonging lockdown

We all need to take responsibility

Don’t think the rules don’t apply to you

Don’t pop to your mates

Don’t go to work if you don’t have too

If you have any symptoms STAY AT HOME and call 111


I want to be frank and honest

As things stand we can’t make any significant changes to the lockdown measures before 6th April

When we came out of restrictions in the last two lockdowns we had no unexplained cases

The vax programme is delivering at some pace

We need a decent safety period 

Around 6th April before we look at easing some restrictions

Probably 12th April before we open up

This is only if we have ZERO unexplained cases

We won’t be ready to open up hospitality, non-essential retail, lifestyle or other businesses till after the Easter weekend

COMAN will only look at reopening Schools after Easter Holidays

Not ready for construction or trade to return next week

We may be ready for outdoor construction to resume and outdoor activity as a first stage – around 6th April

Treasury is sorting out extensions – will update on Monday


Not seeing loved ones is tough but a longer lockdown will make it harder

We are ready to allow people who are alone or lone parent to get support from one other single household.

This is a one to one relationship with another household

No multiple household mixing

Cannot chop and change

One dedicated single household with one person


Our emotional well being has an impact on our behaviour

Given the current sitch, it’s hard and there’s no handbook on how to deal with a pandemic

Things to look out for:

Low Mood and Anxiety Signs and Symptoms

  • Irritability

  • Restlessness

  • Struggling to sleep

  • Feeling of emptiness

  • Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy

If you recognise this in yourself or others, it’s good to talk. There’s help out there

Check out the Areyouok website

Ross’s top tips

  • Exercise helps

  • Learning – boosts wellbeing

  • Give – Acts of kindness can increase happiness

  • Don’t be overly self-critical

  • Pay attention to the people around you and yourself

  • Lots of local charities out there to help


Exit plan is a living document

We will revise it as things get clearer

The doc shows the milestones and what data is important to our decision making

UK and the rest of the world have an impact

UK news is positive – rates are decreasing, the vax programme is good.

Our hospital is under pressure

Big thanks to our vax team and everyone who’s had an appointment

Team effort

More than 25,000 people have received 1st dose

DAVID *lots of updates today*

Vax AstraZeneca

Blood clots – no established link with the vaccine

European Medical Agency is looking at the 33 cases out of 5m 

No establish of a link

EMA – Safe and effective, continues to certify it as safe

The countries that paused it have now resumed using it

WHO – recommends it and certifies that it’s safe

MHRA – After review, have endorsed the vaccine

Independent Group of Commission of Human Medicine – have investigated and is endorsing the vax as safe to use

International Society on Thrombosis and Hemostasis- no established link, strongly recommend people to still get jabbed

The UK and EU have given millions of AstraZeneca with next to no flagged reports of blood clots – which is lower than an unvaccinated population


You may have seen the news about delays in vaccines

Recently we increased 2nd dose to 10 weeks in line with trial data

In light of the announcement, we will be moving 2nd doses to 12 weeks 

Next week we’re holding a vax clinic for adults with learning disabilities 

If you know someone who has a learning disability contact the learning disability service 698326 or 685102 – do not ring 111

Vax will be given in a calm environment – Greenfield Park Resource Centre. Only 2 people getting vaxxed at any one time


If you are attending any health care settings on the island you will be given a ppe mask – safety for our health care staff

Please respect this request

Thanks to our Health and Social Care Colleagues


  • Wear a mask

  • Wash your hands

  • Open your windows

  • Stay home


Got my jab today – ‘Needle shy, but happy with it’


Aaron – Hospital admissions and police services stretched, shouldn’t there be more emphasis on protecting our emergency services? Why haven’t we reintroduced other measures, like 40mph limit for example?

DA – 40mph was when we didn’t know the direction of travel in the 1st lockdown, it’s a last resort. We are protecting our frontline workers. The pressures from the hospital are coming from covid.

Aaron – Track and Trace and 111 have been stretched through this lockdown, is there any regret not taking up offers from the island’s private sector such as app offers?

DA – We have a very good physical team, it’s a forensic approach. We have offered a personal touch.

Paul – Complaints you’ve had from the public, how many people have written to you that said that, or do you not like doing it?

HQ – We’ve been doing the same style for a year, 3rd of people switch off when we get to the questions. Some of the questions are outstanding but if we’re losing the audience we need to spice it up. We’re advertising with ALL of you to get messages out to the public *cough, not with Gef though, cough*. I’ve had lots of complaints about the questions.

Paul – This happens all over the world, some people don’t want to hear the question, some people love the questions. You’re not manipulating how these things are going to be done?

HQ – You all ask your questions, I never know what you’re going to say to me. But I’m getting swamped with complaints

Paul – Hundreds saying they don’t like it?

HQ – First person that said don’t stop the questions was yesterday. 

Paul – It’s like The Emperor’s New Clothes tho… We all get messages about briefings.

HQ – Lols… I asked the gov media team and they said 3rd of people switch off. 

Paul – That means ⅔ are still watching and listening so that’s great. Anyway next question… What’s the process of someone testing positive on day 13? How do they get released? Do we adjust our risk level and assessment accordingly?

Dr H – If someone tests positive at day 13, they go on for another 7 days, they get released at day 21 without a test. We don’t need to adjust contact tracing only to extend their isolation.

Helen – 80 year old who’s had both her jabs, is still testing positive but showing no symptoms. Is there evidence of people getting infected by people who are asymptomatic who’ve had their jabs and will this affect our exit plan?

DA – I’m not aware of this. You can still get covid if you have the vax so you should still isolate if you have it.

Dr H – When people go for their jab they are asked that they have no symptoms. You can still get covid if you have the jab just makes it less harmful.

Helen – What’s being done to help children during this lockdown as it’s a tough time for them. 

Mr Bailey – It’s a difficult time, we need to work together to address these problems.

Leanne – New guidance for single households, when is it coming into effect?

HQ – it’s not a free-for-all, we’re allowing you to team up with one single household, someone living on their own. Not for multi households.

Leanne – Do you have a figure for how many people are in self-isolation and are you going to add this to your dashboard?

DA – Yeah we will be putting it on the press release that goes out every day and 2,709 in self iso.

Tim – What’s the ICU figure?

DA – Four

Tim – Are we likely to come out of this lockdown in a phased approach like the first lockdown?

HQ – Yeah probably

Tim – People have lockdown fatigue are you considering tighter restrictions?

HQ – I can understand that people are fed up with it. But if you’re breaking the rules then the police will investigate and take action.

Simon – the 12-week gap between one and two, won’t apply to people already booked in?

DA – Yeah honouring bookings

Simon – Mr Bailey – Are you seeing more problems in any specific age groups?

Mr Bailey – I’m not aware of any significant shifts in age range profiles.

Simon – MERA support – In its current form it could work as a disincentive to self-employed people? 

HQ – Treasury minister will be here on Monday to discuss the support available to businesses.

Josh – Restrictions might be eased around 6th April, what’s this data you need?

HQ – It’ll be how many days of no unexplained cases


Please stay at home

Please wear a face covering

If you show any symptoms call 111

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