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COVID-19

NHS App

NHS COVID app release date

And the date is…

The date for the release of the new NHS COVID-19 contact-tracing app is THURSDAY 24th September. It will then be launched across England and Wales according to the UK Gov.

Businesses are getting ready

Businesses across England and Wales like pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas are at present being urged to ensure they have NHS QR code posters visible on entry. This will enable customers who have downloaded the new NHS COVID-19 app to use the NHS smartphone app to easily check-in.

The government are also asking businesses and venues to display the new QR codes, which can be downloaded via a website to display as posters, in premises.

With coronavirus cases rising in the UK over the last few weeks it is essential businesses capitalise on the benefits QR codes which bring to protect both themselves and their customers.

Businesses who are already using their own QR system are being encouraged to switch to the NHS Test and Trace QR code. An alternative check-in method must also be maintained to collect the contact details of those customers who don’t have the app.

After Thursday 24th September

Following the launch of the new NHS COVID-19 app, customers and visitors in England and Wales will be able to check-in on entry with their phone instead of filling out a check-in book or tool specific to a business. This will allow NHS Test and Trace to easily contact customers with public health advice should there be a COVID-19 outbreak.

What the app does regarding Check-in

  1. When someone enters a venue and scans an official QR poster, the venue information will be logged on the user’s phone.
  2. Each venue has its own Location Identity.
  3. The location information scanned on entry will stay on a user’s phone for 21 days.
  4. NO INFORMATION at any time is send from your phone to the government.
  5. If in the next 21 days a coronavirus outbreak is identified at that location, the venue ID in question will be sent to ALL devices.
  6. The App will check if users have been at that location and if so, users may get an alert with advice on what to do based on the level of risk.

What else does the app do?

The full details can be seen the the app website. However it can help with the following:

  • Tracing (using a risk-scoring algorithm it works out how likely you are to infect or be infected by contacts)
  • Alerts (What is you Postcode risk level)
  • Check-in (see above)
  • Symptoms (you can report your symptoms onto the app)
  • Testing (it will advise you how to book a test if needed)
  • Isolating (it provides a self isolating countdown)

“World Beating app”

Now that the app is here on Thursday, it will of course need for the large percentage of the population to download, install and carry their phone around at all times. People will need also to switch their phones on! I am happy that no information is now stored in a central database and I do hope that it proves to be world beating. It however, very similar to app other countries have been using for quite some time.

Presentational grey line

App Charity COVID-19 Fun Information Phone Box Testing TGIF Tyndale

COVID Mobile Testing Unit

COVID Testing returns to Rugby Club

Covid Testing Unit

The mobile testing unit will be back at the Stinchcombe Rugby Club according to the Gloucestershire County Council website next week. Wed 23rd until Fri 25th September.

Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 can have a test. You must book a test in advance. Please do not turn up to one of the locations without booking anyone without a booking risks being turned away.

To book a test

To book a test or for more information on testing, go to the  opens in a new windowNHS website or call 119.

App Charity COVID-19 Fun Information Phone Box Testing TGIF Tyndale

COVID Mobile Testing Unit

COVID Mobile Testing at Rugby Club

COVID Testing

The Stinchcombe Rugby Club have had a request via Glos Police to offer their park for the locating of a Covid mobile testing unit.

What does it involve

This will involve them being on site during day time hours for probably 3 days at a time every 4 weeks or so. Those attending for testing will remain in their cars and the process will take place entirely outside in the car park area.

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Tombstones in Graveyard

American Deaths

AmERICAN DeATHSTotals
Vietnam 1955-1975153,303
Gulf War 1990-1991849
War in Afghanistan2216
Iraq War4497
TOTAL160,865
Source opens in a new windowwikipedia
American Deaths in Last 4 Wars

Flu (influenza) season October 2019 – April 2020

CDC estimateCDC ESTIMATE% of Population
flu illness18,000,000 – 26,000,0000.05 – 0.07
flu deaths24,000 – 62,000
Fatal in 1/1000
0.000068 – 0.00017
Source opens in a new windowC.D.C.American population taken as 331M
Flu Season Cases in USA 2020

COVID-19

COVID-19 CurrentlyJohn Hopkins% of population
Covid-19 cases6,702,464 opens in a new window– 20M (BBC)0.020 – (20,225 per M)
(UK rate is 5,425 per M)
Covid-19 deaths198,3990.00059 – (518 per M)
(UK rate is 609 per M)
Source opens in a new windowWorldometerAmerican population taken as 331M
UK population taken at 68M
Current Data USA COVID Cases and Deaths at 13/09/2020

I thought that this would bring home the fact that COVID-19 is NOT “like the flu” as Trump tweeted. For a start it’s summertime and it’s still rampant with an extra 60K cases everyday in the USA and shows no sign of slowing down so the 20M + (official) cases could still be hit by the end of the year. Also already, more American citizens have died in the USA than all of the Wars since Vietnam.

Americans love to quote the 1st Amendment…”Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.Where does it say anything about NOT wearing a mask to protect other citizens?

COVID Test Kit and App on Phone

Test and Trace

6000 workers

I read yesterday that the Government is shedding 6,000 workers from the test-and-trace operations. 6000 is a large percentage of the 25,000 (24%) of the total number employees. So has the system reached Baroness Dido Hardings “Gold Standard” ?

Tweet from Sir Chris Ham

As Sir Chris Ham said

“Contact tracing has to be led locally by people who work in the communities that are affected and understand them,They’re part-detectives, part-anthropologists: they work with leaders in faith groups, in community organisations, and public services, to understand why there are more cases in a particular area, and how to work with everyone to contain and reduce the challenges. You can’t do that sitting in a remote call centre.”

Sir Chris Ham

New Local Test and Trace

Now local councils are starting their OWN local test-and-trace operations in Blackburn, Leicester, Manchester, Calderdale and Liverpool. The Government has been forced to share the current and up to date information with the local health workers. If only to enable the test-and-trace effort to be better coordinated.

According to the Guardian Newspaper the central call-centre workers only manager to trace 56% of people’s contacts, whereas the figure for local health teams was 98%.

Hopefully, what will emerge will finally be a Test and Trace system that actually works.

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Coronavirus my personal thoughts

Covid Total World Cases 5th August

In the last newsletter I promised you an update, so these are my PERSONAL thoughts.

Worldwide.

Today, on the 5th August, the worldwide number of cases reached 18.5M and looking at the logarithmic page in opens in a new windowworldometer it doesn’t take rocket science to predict that if nothing changes, by the end of the year there will be 100m cases worldwide. There is also a great deal of under-reporting in many countries, (for political reasons and non-political reasons) This means that the possible number by year end may be much, much higher. 100m is around 1.25% of the world’s population.

Whatever the figure is at the end of the year, I am trying to say that this virus is still VERY active worldwide and will NOT go away until the Vaccine arrives, and the vaccine will arrive, but don’t go looking for your dose until WINTER 2021.

UK

I have been critical of the Government’s response from the start and unfortunately still remain critical.

  • The “World Beating App” which was given to NHS developers who unfortunately saw it as a chance to collect data, store it centrally, and allow for great data analysis. This is the same NHS where one hospital can’t send patients details electronically to another. E.G. Gloucester to Oxford. (No I don’t know why) to
  • “Track and Trace” which was again given over to be centralised. All very well, but can someone on a computer in their house talk to someone in Leicester who doesn’t even speak English? “Track and Trace” should always have been regionalised. Something now starting to happen in places like Manchester as they set up their own “Track and Trace” .
  • Likewise the “Testing” fiasco, no, don’t start me on the “Testing”
opens in a new window
UK Testing 5th August

The UK government routinely talks about Testing CAPACITY, but surely the ONLY number that really matters and of any importance is the number of tests PROCESSED! The question the government should ask is “Why weren’t the other 178,747 tests done yesterday?”

However, in all this, I think the response of the British People has been remarkable, with one or two exceptions, where I despair, all in all the Great British Public has shown great sense, and remarkable politeness and kindness to each other. Something that I thought that would wear quickly off has remained as the months progress.

The Next Few Months

A lot depends on how well people continue to adhere to the rules about “Washing Hands”, “Distancing”, “Masks” and “Socialising”. All of us need to keep these newfound habits and not let them slip.

Unfortunately, because each part of the UK has different rules, which change frequently, (what happened to Boris’s red lights, or was it defcon 1-5) no-one really knows what rules still apply! So the common man is left doing what seems right…

opens in a new window
Number of local Coronavirus cases 5th September

So to the good news….although nationally the UK cases has slowly been rising over the last month from 550 (7D avg) it’s still only 800 (7D avg) even with all the loosening of the rules and does not show any rapid acceleration in numbers. (Cross Fingers!!)

In fact opens in a new windowStinchcombe sits in a large area of less than 2 cases per week. I see no reason why this will not remain the case except where cases are brought into the area from outside by mixing on holiday, or mixing of younger people. (18+)

However, I do see life as it is now continuing until the end of next year. We cannot stop hotspots occuring nationwide, but I do feel positive that the “second wave” can be avoided.

If you are interested, I do suggest you visit the government website for all the latest.

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COVID-19 vaccine registry

We’ve launched a COVID-19 vaccine registry. Here’s how you can help.

As COVID-19 continues to affect nations throughout the world, many teams are working on developing safe and effective vaccines to protect against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). 

Rigorous testing, contact tracing, symptom tracking, and strict quarantine procedures can help stop the spread of COVID-19 if implemented effectively. However, until enough of the population is immune to the virus so that they cannot pass it on (either through ‘herd immunity’ or widespread vaccination), there will always be the risk of new outbreaks of the disease. 

You can learn more about the importance of a COVID-19 vaccine here.

As we move forward in the fight against COVID-19, we have decided to create a registry for all COVID Symptom Study app users who are interested in participating in vaccine trials and other preventative treatments in the future. 

Though we won’t be running these studies, having citizen scientists ready to participate will be incredibly valuable to research teams working on vaccines and other simple preventive treatments.

How can you join the registry?

You can join the registry directly through your COVID Symptom Study app.

First, make sure that your app is updated to the latest version. When you next open it up you will be shown a screen asking if you are interested in being contacted when a relevant study becomes available. Select ‘Yes, I am interested’.

We will not share your details with anyone, but will alert you when a relevant study becomes available.

Anyone can join this registry, but we aim to prioritise contacting those who have been regularly using the COVID Symptom Study app.

Please continue to share the app with friends, family, and your local community and encourage them to add their name to our vaccine registry so that we can win the fight against COVID-19.

If you are interested in learning more about vaccine registries through the NIHR, please click here.

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