Together we can defeat this, says mayor

Great Dunmow Town Council mayor Mike Coleman

Mayor Mike Coleman - Credit: Great Dunmow Town Council

Community members are pulling together to ensure Dunmow gets through the new Covid wave of infection which has forced a third national lockdown.

Great Dunmow Mayor Mike Coleman said the community will "reach calm waters" by working together.

Debbie Hasler and Amelia Willett of Dunmow and Surrounding Areas Pay It Forward, a Facebook support group, are offering community support and help, not just with shopping but also with a chat. They have volunteers ready to help.

Dunmow outdoor Tuesday market will continue to sell food on Tuesday, January 12 as normal.

Cllr Coleman said: “As we, as a community, face another ‘lockdown’ which was, I regret to say, inevitable we all need to bond together to a greater degree to help Great Dunmow surf the waves of uncertainty by supporting our traders, by supporting each other and acting responsibly.


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"The traders who are not allowed to open will be more than happy to receive an email or phone call – some for click and collect and some for online delivery. Those who are open will appreciate your support and for those residents who are unable to go out or frightened, a phone call is all it takes to see if traders can deliver.  

"Don’t be afraid to ask a neighbour for help even if it is the need to talk to someone. We all face this journey together and together we can reach our destination and calm waters.”

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Announcing the third lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said action had to be taken as numbers were rising through a new variant, and there was increased pressure on the NHS. Schools have gone to remote and online learning, except for children of key workers and vulnerable children.

Uttlesford's figures jumped from 315.4 cases per 100,000 per week on December 17 to 578.3 on December 24, according to data released on December 31. Braintree's data rose from 597.6 to 867.0, and Chelmsford's rose from 603.7 to 877.8 for the same periods. 

As of December 29, there were 1,107 beds occupied by confirmed Covid-19 patients in Essex hospital trusts. This equates to 32 percent of trust capacity and is 45 percent higher compared to bed occupancy one week previously.

Kemi Badenoch MP

Kemi Badenoch MP - Credit: Kemi Badenoch

MP Kemi Badenoch said: "On a call with our local public health director, councillors and Essex MPs I was given an update on the number of cases in Chelmsford and Uttlesford which as many of you will be aware are increasing at an exponential rate.

"I recognise the announcement will have left many residents feeling deflated and uncertain about the next few months. However our situation is not different to similar countries across Europe and we have to make these difficult decisions in order to protect our local health service, especially given the challenges they have faced over the last year.

"This lockdown is different to those last year, with the vaccination roll-outs well underway, we can be reassured that restrictions will be lifted. Whilst the lockdown restrictions are similar to those we were under in Tier 4, they reinforce how important it is we adhere to them and if residents have any questions, do get in touch.

"I am very concerned about the implications these restrictions will have on businesses, schools and universities, amongst others. I know it has been very difficult for so many of you to make decisions when the situation is evolving so quickly. I would like to thank everyone, particularly those working across every education setting in our constituency for your continued hard work and adapting so promptly.

"The Chancellor has announced £4.6 billion of targeted support for businesses impacted by this lockdown. This includes a one off grant for closed businesses of up to £9,000 and is in addition to the existing monthly closed grants of up to £3,000.

"I hope this support will be welcomed by our local businesses and local authorities will receive this funding next week to be distributed to businesses as quickly as possible."

On Tuesday (January 5), another new fast testing site opened for those without symptoms of Covid-19. The new Rayleigh Testing Centre at The MegaCentre is for Rochford district residents only. Lateral Flow Tests are by pre-booked appointments only. 

This testing centre is the fourth in Essex, and joins The Nightingale Centre in Brentwood, The Towngate Theatre in Basildon and The Place Leisure Centre in Pitsea to offer new Lateral Flow Tests to the wider population, with results in 30 minutes. 

Tests are booked online through https://www.essex.gov.uk/getting-tested-for-covid-19/if-you-dont-have-symptoms

Alternatively call 0333 772 6144 to arrange an appointment. Lines are open from 8am to 8pm, every day including Saturday and Sunday.

You can also email: booking.confirmation@nhs.net and a member of staff will contact you to arrange an appointment.

Anyone with symptoms should book a test via the NHS Test and Trace App, or at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

Cllr John Spence, cabinet member for Adults and Health at Essex County Council, said: “We are absolutely determined to do all we can to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in Essex.

“Targeted testing programmes are how we will continue to tackle this, in addition to following the latest lockdown rules. An appointment to carry out a Covid-19 test will count as an essential journey under the lockdown rules.

“Testing and self-isolation will do more than any other weapon in our armoury to limit the spread.

“Playing your part now means, along with following social distancing rules, going for a test if you live in an area which is being asked to do so.”

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