Alf’s statement: A Summary 

Thanks for letting me make a statement 

I know people are concerned 

Omicron was not unexpected 

New Measures including PCR tests for inbound travel, masks and raising for expectation of masks plus the requirement for  whole household isolation where Omicron expected,  were introduced last week. The measures provided a platform for mitigation 

Booster programme commenced on 4th October.

We’re currently in a stable position 

Delta has plateaued and is on a downward trajectory

But we are likely to see a rise in Omicron, Covid cases in the IOM are likely to rise significantly 

A proportion of the population will become seriously ill and may require ICU attention 

Until the science catches up, we can’t predict what it will look like exactly 

A total of 12 possible Omicron cases have now been detected, further investigation required in some cases

Teams have worked hard to ensure response was timely and effective – Members will join me in thanking the teams for all of their hard work with no respite. *Hear Hear*

The threat is real 

GET A BOOSTER VACCINE AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE

If you are eligible, don’t wait, make the booking, get your booster, protect yourself and protect your community 

Plans are being drawn up to bring forward appointments

1,500 – 1,700 will be jabbed per day, up from 1,000 per day.

Hope that the new plan will be instigated in the next week 

Use online booking where possible, rather than calling 111

The ramp in boosters is no easy task, its immense 

If we all pull together then we would hope to complete the majority of the booster programme by the end of Jan 2022

Just to confirm, there’s no shortage of jabs

Borders – All arrivals to take LFT for 7 days 

Double packs of LFT’s will be provided in the run up to Christmas, they’ll be free and access will be easy 

Whole household isolation for Omicron cases 

There remains much to consider 

Comin and the National Covid Response Group will keep everything under review. 

Omicron is likely to cause significant infections 

Island should brace itself for a difficult period ahead 

Questions 

Moorhouse: If a member of the household has a new variant, should everyone remain in the household until it is confirmed?

Alf: Yes, see above. 

Speaker: Will the increase in mitigation measures be triggered by hard numbers like ICU numbers? And given that we are expecting a spike, what are the plans for the schools returning?

Alf: Critical measure will be the number in ICU and the ability of the hospital to cope. Scale of infections currently projected might mean a different approach to how we managed the Delta variant. We’re considering how to mitigate it without closing down the whole island. It’s a difficult situation and a moving beast. 

The question of the severity of Omicron is yet to be answered. 

School planning underway. 

Tim Glover: Are we just going to rely on Chester Street as a hub or are we expanding out? Volunteers outside of Government to take on some of the admin work if not jabbing?

Alf: I know there is an urgent question to follow, which Hooper will answer. 1,700 booster jabs per day is a significant effort, I’ll let him tell you more.

Alf: Lateral flow tests are available for arrivals. 

Claire on Zoom: Clarification – are close contacts now also expected to take daily LFT’s for 7 days? 

Alf: Fundamentally, everyone should use LFT’s in a variety of situations. LFT in days after attending an event. Gov continues to encourage the use of LFT’s as much as possible. 

Moorhouse: What is the definition of suspected? Does the whole household have to self isolate?

Alf: IF OMICRON. THE. WHOLE. HOUSEHOLD. HAS. TO. SELF. ISOLATE

Claire: Where will we see clear communication around LFT? Currently it’s just about testing before you go to the pub?

Alf: We have emphasised testing for hospitality and have made everyone aware of the requirement for travel. Pretty sure the message is getting through and the public are taking note. If we can strengthen the message, we will. 

This coverage is not intended to be a verbatim transcript and should not be treated as such.

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