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CCA will address "the deteriorating situation around us"

CCA will address

Thursday 22 July 2021

CCA will address "the deteriorating situation around us"


The CCA will review the impact of the deteriorating situation in the UK, Jersey and Alderney when it meets today to discuss the current regulations.

It comes as Public Health urges all islanders to “act immediately” if showing any Covid-19 symptoms, following cases of community seeding in Alderney and Guernsey.

Public Health Director Dr Nicola Brink and Strategic Lead for People Policy Mark De Garis have made the point - during a protracted legal challenge from Dr Stephen Bridgman - that they have other "urgent" business to attend to in their capacity as senior advisors to the CCA. 

This includes addressing the changing situation around us and how that affects the unlocking of the Bailiwick's borders. 

Jersey currently has the second highest prevalence rate of Covid-19 in the world, the UK has recorded four-month highs following large-scale events and 'Freedom Day', Alderney has experienced its first cases of community seeding and Guernsey recorded community seeding in a primary school child on Tuesday. 

"The situation around us is deteriorating," Dr Brink noted. "We may have to review some of the things we are doing.”

Mr De Garis added in the court hearing: “There is a paper currently being prepared as to the measures that may need to be adjusted or whether we can proceed to the next stage."

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Pictured: The current Covid-19 test results across the Bailiwick.

The impact of just one traveller transmitting the virus cannot be underestimated in a small community, said Dr Brink, as she explained why Dr Stephen Bridgman could not back up his claim of being "low risk" because of the unknowns around his international travel.

The outbreak in Alderney - which has led to source testing and the reintroduction of masks and social distancing – is a prime example of that. “That is a common source outbreak which has brought an island almost to a standstill based on a single traveller," said Dr Brink. 

Under cross-examination in Dr Bridgman’s judicial review, Mr De Garis spoke about the impact of proceedings on the Bailiwick’s strategic work.

He said it is important to find the right balance between considering variations for certain, personal circumstances, and the wider policies that shape the lives of all islanders. 

“We do not have the resources available for larger nations,” said Mr De Garis. “We have to make decisions that best serve large numbers of people because we don’t have the numbers to deal with each case by exception. 

“I don’t think the CCA would be able to function because of the volume of cases. It would be overwhelmed and there is a great danger that you would cease to see the wood from the trees and the strategic direction for the Bailiwick.”

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Pictured: Travellers from Jersey now need a negative PCR test before travelling here because of the island's Covid-19 situation.

Alex Hawkins-Drew, the States' Lead for Public Health Nursing, said yesterday that the community is at the heart of preventing the spread of infection.

“Instances of community seeding are something we are expecting to see as we adjust to living with Covid. But we are well prepared for this and our robust contact tracing measures means we are well-placed to minimise onward transmission.

"However the most vital part of our defence is the responsibility of people to isolate when feeling unwell and promptly coming forward for testing. Contact tracing can only be successful if people don’t wait to report symptoms and be tested.”

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