IOM Gov Briefing – 8th April

Howard, David, Dr Al, Dr Henny 

A week on from the loosening of restrictions 

I know deckchair time has made a difference

Since last week we have had 3 new cases, but they were all close contacts of known cases

Active cases have dropped rapidly, yesterday it dropped below 100

Numbers

  • 2 new cases – both from a known source 
  • 75 Active cases
  • 1 Hospital 
  • 0 ICU 

Dr Henny

Encouraging numbers

Occasional high-risk contact becoming a positive case – expected with household member transmission

Trains of transmission contained as long as they self isolate 

Only one sporadic case 

Low positivity rate – less than 1% for a while, even with wide testing 

Howard 

One step at a time, gradual return to normality to test the water 

Keep the outbreak under control, should there be anything bubbling under the water 

COMEN met today to chat through the phased approach 

Dr Al 

Teachers back Monday 12th April

Tuesday 13th April – Vulnerable and essential workers only (only if no other alternative)

Secondary schools – Year 11 and 13 students will be contacted about the return. They should only attend if they have been contacted. Social distancing and masks will be encouraged.

Monday 19th April – All kids back and nurseries too. So long as Public Health is happy with it. 

If you have Covid symptoms to stay home and call 111

Howard 

Hope this time next week, we’ll be going ahead with plans for all kids to go back on Monday 19th April

Some restrictions easing – Monday 12th April;

  • Remove restrictions for Tradespeople in occupied households – Painters and decorators can all recommence. Social distancing, face coverings must be in place. Ideally, homeowners should go out of the house when they come to work or stay in a different room.
  • Estate agents – viewings for vacant properties.
  • Hardware stores can reopen – social distancing in place, maybe face coverings strongly recommended.
  • Pet groomers can do pick up and drop off 
  • All outdoor leisure venues can reopen but rules apply – gatherings size and distancing (no more than 10 people)

BABY STEPS 

We need to walk before we run. We want to step out of your lives. 

No free mixing in houses, except support bubbles 

Also from Monday 12th April:

All outdoor leisure venues can reopen but rules apply – gatherings size and distancing (no more than 10 people)

No contact sport like rugby or football

Kids play areas can open, but keep kids away from each other 

On Monday 19th we could reopen all non-essential businesses too, but need to see what happens next week. And think social distancing and face coverings could feature. 

Great week on the Vax programme, thanks to the gang for working over Easter. 60% of the adult population have now received at least one dose. 

David

AstraZeneca Vaccine & Shielding 

Shielding advice will fall away from Monday 12th April. If you are shielding, speak to your employers about a safe return to work. 

AZ – There is a bit of confusion. 

JCVI has said the link isn’t established but is looking more likely so investigation will continue. 

Under 30 shouldn’t get AZ if another vaccine isn’t available 

Context – four in a million risk 

Covid causes blood clots too 

The clotting risk is higher from getting the virus rather than the vaccine

One in 10 young people get long covid – another reason to get the jab 

Yesterday people cancelled their appointments – there is no reason not to go ahead as planned unless there is a legit medical reason

If you cancel, we can’t prioritise you for another as we move onto the other ages

The risk is low – four in a million 

No more risk than travelling on a long haul flight or taking a contraceptive pill

The risk of not getting jabbed is catastrophic for your long term health 

QUESTIONS

Al Bell: Will the IoM have enough alternative Vaccines to go around for the under 30s?

David: We think the impact will be a few weeks. The entire adult population will all have had their first dose by the end of July (later corrected to May).

Al Bell: If someone gets ill, are the DHSC liable?

David: All covered by the UK in indemnity

Paul: Are you saying people go to the bottom of the queue if they say no? There isn’t much data on the vaccinations about the clots? 

David: There is loads of data, 79 cases out of 20 million. The odds of anything occurring is absolutely minuscule. Urge people to have a second dose as planned, it locks in the protection. This is due to an abundance of caution. 

Dr Henny: Good answer Dave 

Paul: But do they go to the bottom of the list?

David: If people cancel their 2nd dose – they harm their protection. 

Paul: 111 coping Ok?

David: Yep, thanks to the team 

Paul: Preschool key workers can get the kids into school hubs too?

Dr Al: From Monday we’ll be working with the preschool sector to allow them to open. Trying to phase it so we don’t go backwards. Bear with. 

Helen: Is there a public appetite for a 3A border change at the end of the month as it will increase risk when we’ve just come out of lockdown?

HQ: Infection rate coming down in the UK. Discussing next week about protecting residents but we should do our best to ensure family and loved ones can visit us.

Helen: Anyone been admitted to hospital after having a jab?

Dr H: We have to be v careful to disentangle a casual association. Someone was admitted but no evidence that the two events were related. 

Leanne: School year has been impacted by two lockdowns. How are you gonna get the kids back on track?

Dr Al: Helping the exam year kids to get the grades that they deserve. Trying to help younger kids with transitions too. I know parents are frightened about kids missing out, they’ve done a fantastic job in helping kids. Mental wellbeing is an issue too, we need to make sure they are relaxed and enjoying school.

Tim: AZ sitch – the UK saying they have enough to meet targets. We’re following them, why are we gonna be pushed back a few weeks?

David: the UK quotes it in months. Their vax programme has gone back a few weeks but still within the same month of July. 

Tim: Manx Care – why did they tweet and delete the pic?

David: Probably cos of the abusive comments. It got nasty. All of them are essential workers. They’re in the boardroom which is massive. The table can seat 16-18. 9-10 socially distanced. 

Was it the right time to put up a photo like that? Honestly. Nope.

But they didn’t break regulations. 

Tim: Why not Zoom?

David: They have to be face to face for some things. 

Simon: Will people from other age groups be offered an alternative vaccine if they don’t want AZ?

David: No. The risk is low.

Simon: Australia and New Zealand have bubbled. Are we considering new air bridges with Guernsey, Malta and Gibraltar?

HQ: I’d like to see Guernsey introduced as our thinking is similar. The UK has said there will be little international travel, with fines in place. We need to respect the UK rules as we go through their territory. 

Once we get on top of the virus, I’ll work on the airbridge with Guernsey. 

Sam: You said the entire adult population will have the first dose by the end of July? In the exit plan, you said first dosage May.

David: Later clarification, the July date is 2nd dose. 

Sam: Should you write to under 30’s to see if they want to take AZ? 

David: We’ll offer an alternative straight away. 

Sam: Will the wait between the doses stay the same with the changes?

David: Yes, staying with the 12 weeks. 

HQ – From my point of view, as someone who has suffered from long covid and had mates in hospital. The risks compared to having the vaccine vs long term health issues or death. I’ve had AZ, think it through, don’t panic, get the jab in your arm and get protected. 

Closing 

The end is in sight. 

Remain vigilant.

This coverage is not intended to be a verbatim transcript and should not be treated as such, you can listen to the full briefing here.

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