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Somerset's Covid-19 Weekly Update

Friday 4 February 2022

Welcome to the latest edition of the weekly Somerset Covid-19 update for key stakeholders and subscribers. This update is produced on behalf of the Somerset Covid-19 Engagement Board and is designed to provide a weekly update on the current Covid-19 situation in Somerset.

Please be aware you are receiving this email because you have previously subscribed to Covid-19 updates from SCC or were a part of the Stakeholder mailing list. If you no longer wish to receive these mails you can use the 'unsubscribe' link at the bottom of the update.
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David Fothergill
David Fothergill
Leader Somerset County Council
Twitter: @DJAFothergill
Professor Trudi Grant
Professor Trudi Grant
Director of Public Health

Twitter: @SomersetDPH
Clare Paul
Clare Paul
Cabinet Member for Education and Public Health
Twitter: @Clarepaul_
Covid-19 case numbers have increased across Somerset in the last week and remain very high, particularly for those of school age, so it is vital we all focus on living safely with Covid-19.

We are aware of all of the sacrifices people in Somerset have made to help prevent the further spread of the pandemic and the following simple guidance remains:
  • If you haven’t yet had a vaccination you should step forward, whether it's a first dose, second dose or booster. Please check here for full booking details.
  • Please continue to take regular lateral flow tests – particularly before meeting others. These can be ordered here. Also, remember to report your test results here.
  • Wear a well-fitting face-covering when in enclosed spaces such as supermarkets and try to meet others outside or ensure there is good ventilation when meeting inside.
  • If you have any Covid-19 symptoms you need to take a PCR test. If you test positive, you must self-isolate.
  • Keep your hands clean by washing often with soap and water , this protects against a lot of infectious diseases.
It has been noted recently that a high proportion of cases are now defined as being reinfections – the figure nationally is around one in ten. This means if you have caught Covid-19 before, you can still catch it again. Of course, this makes it additionally important to continue to follow the advice to protect yourself and others from the virus.

‘Remember, everyone can catch it, anyone can spread it.’
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This Weeks Top Headlines

The main items featured in this week’s update are:

  • Workplace, Care and School settings
  • Vaccinations Update
  • Testing Update
  • Resources and further information
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Somerset Covid Cases

In the week ending 30 January, approximately 145,631 tests were carried out across the county. There were with 6,334 new confirmed cases identified by these tests. The rates of Covid-19 remain very high and have increased in the last reporting week to 1,126.6 per 100,000. This is below both the South-West average and the national average.

Hospitalisation data for Somerset has increased to around 73 Covid-19 in-patients in Somerset hospitals.


The Government has updated guidance on working safely during in line with the move to Plan A regulations. The full details can be found here:

Are you finding the Covid rules and guidance confusing and do you wish you could help your work colleagues, friends and family to make the best decisions to stay happy and healthy?
If yes, you could become a Covid Community Champion, or enable one of your colleagues to. It doesn’t take much time. All you need to do is come along to a short online Welcome Session, then you’ll receive regular emails and invitations to online catch-up meetings. The meetings are optional and informal: an opportunity to catch up with other champions and hear the latest direct from the experts.

You can do as little or as much as you like. We already have over 100 Champions who use the information they get in a range of ways. Some simply share what they learn with friends and family, others use their knew knowledge at work.
This is what one of our workplace Champions thinks about their experience so far:

“The main benefit is understanding the best ways to prevent Covid-19, being able to share this with my work colleagues and their families…. Everyone at work is much more confident, as they have knowledge, anxiety has reduced. The biggest contributor was the unknown.”

To find out more, go to
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Care Settings

We continue to see high case numbers of Covid-19 in our care settings. During these high case rates, Infection Prevention and Control measures, strict adherence to PPE, distancing where possible, ensuring adequate ventilation, regular testing and ensuring staff take up the offer of vaccination, including boosters is key.

Key guidelines: Please look out for updates in the key guidance documents:
Covid-19: management of staff and exposed patients and residents in health and social care settings
Coronavirus (Covid-19) testing for adult social care settings

Covid-19 reporting of cases: Please continue to report cases of Covid-19 to the Health Protection Team (HPT) at UKHSA on 0300 303 8162 (option 9 for a Covid call) and for more than one case or any resident cases, please report to

New care setting risk assessment tool: The new risk assessment tool has been launched this week, so when Adult Social Care providers across the South West report 2 or more cases of acute respiratory infections, including Covid-19 to UKHSA, they will be asked to complete an online form to provide further details. This will then be reviewed by the Health Protection Practitioners and the appropriate support provided depending on the information in the form. This new process will hopefully help save time for providers and allow completion of the form at a time most appropriate to care staff.

Wellbeing support: If you are feeling the strain, there is always someone to talk to at Samaritan’s dedicated line for health and care workers. These calls are answered by highly trained, compassionate and confidential volunteers who provide confidential, non-judgemental support.

Schools and Early Years settings

Covid-19 case rates remain high in our county and continue to increase, in line with the wider south-west region. Business continuity challenges have limited provision of onsite education in some settings, as high rates of community transmission impact staff, pupils and their parents.

Protecting the wellbeing of education staff is critical for improving morale and retaining staff. Our staff are a precious resource: valuing them, and their wellbeing and mental health, is a duty we all share. Everyone’s mental wellbeing changes throughout their life, but it’s important not to just put up with poor mental health.

Emotional Wellbeing for Education Staff: There are a range of resources available via the Somerset Emotional Wellbeing staff hub. Just search by your role/organisation (simply type ‘education’ or ‘school’) or how you are feeling, to view relevant support resources.

Somerset Emotional Wellbeing – Somerset Emotional Wellbeing Staff Hub
Childhood Immunisation Programme
The UKHSA and the NHS are calling on parents and guardians to ensure their children are up to date with the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, and all other routine childhood immunisations. The latest data shows the MMR vaccination uptake has dropped to the lowest level in a decade.

Coverage for the two doses of MMR vaccine in five-year olds in the South-West is currently 90.4%, below the 95% World Health Organization target needed to achieve and sustain measles elimination. Coverage of the first dose of the MMR vaccine in two-year olds in the South West is 93.4%, meaning almost 1 in 10 children under the age of 5 are not fully protected from measles.

Parents who are unsure if their child is up to date with all their routine vaccinations, should check their child’s Red Book (personal child health record) in the first instance. If you are still not sure, or if you need to bring your child up to date with their vaccines, contact your GP practice to check and book an appointment.

To find out more about the MMR vaccine, please visit for more information

Appointment only FLU clinics
To attend a clinic that requires an appointment please email
Flu vaccination programme - SAINTS (School Age Immunisation Teams) (

We deliver the nasal flu vaccination programme to all schools in Somerset in the winter months. We also hold community based clinics to make sure we vaccinate as many children as possible.

The following walk-in flu clinics for children are available:

Saturday 5th February 2022
09:30am until 11:30am
West Mendip Community Hospital (Outpatients)
Old Wells Road
Saturday 5th February 2022
1:30pm until 3:30pm
Westlands Entertainment Venue
Westbourne Close
BA20 2DD
Sunday 6th February 2022
9am - noon
The Families Hub, Level 2, East Reach House, Taunton, TA1 3EN
Covid-19 Vaccine Programme:

There are new clinics starting regularly in other areas in the coming weeks. Please encourage
parents/guardians to check the NHS walk in site for up to date information.

Bookings can be made through the national booking service or by calling 119.

Vaccination Centre
Haynes Motor Museum
Mon - Fri
09.00 – 17.00
Sparkford, Yeovil, BA22 7LH
Walk in & bookable
Dillington House
Weekly on Weds & Thurs
16.00 – 20.00
Illminster, TA19 9DT
Firepool, Taunton
Mon - Sun
09.00 – 17.00
Canal Road, Taunton, TA1 1NY
Walk in & bookable
Bridgwater Town Hall
Fridays in Feb
09.00 – 17.00
High St, Bridgwater, TA6 3BL
Walk in
Jhoots Pharmacy
Mon - Fri
09.00 – 17.00
Victoria Park Drive, Bridgwater TA6 7AS
Walk in and Bookable
Bridgwater and Albion RFC
09.00 – 11.00 and 15.00 – 17.00
Bridgwater And Albion Rfc (Cranleigh Gardens Pharmacy)
Walk in and Bookable
Sydenham Community Centre
Weds 9th Feb
13.00 – 18.00
Parkway, Bridgwater TA6 4QZ
Walk in
Hamp Pantry
Thurs 10th Feb
13.00 – 18.00
South Bridgwater Together Team Hub, 2-3 Grenville House, Rhode Lane, Bridgwater, TA6 6JE
Walk in
Auction / Market at Junction 24
Saturday 12th Feb
8.00 – 14.00
Market Way, North Petherton TA6 6DF
Walk in
Truckers at Junction 24
Thurs 17th Feb
16.00 – 21.00
Market Way, North Petherton TA6 6DF
Walk in
Please note: If a child has tested positive for Covid-19 and is not at high risk from Covid-19, they need to wait 12 weeks before they can have a Covid-19 vaccine. This starts from the date they had symptoms, or the date of the positive test if they did not have symptoms.

Vaccination Update

Over 80% of eligible residents have received two doses of the vaccination. The Vaccination Programme is working with health and community partners to identify locations for mobile vaccination pop-up clinics. By localising the offer, the programme aims to reduce barriers to access and better understand community needs.

Plenty of walk-in appointments are available across the county. Please check our local NHS website Covid-19 vaccinations in Somerset - Somerset CCG to find clinics in your area or use the national portal to find a clinic:

You can also pre-book an appointment. To do this, visit or call 119 for an appointment. The helpline has over 200 languages available if you or someone you know requires an interpreter.

NHS staff are ready to welcome you whether it’s for your first, second, or third dose.

Bridgwater v2


What to do if you have a positive LFD test and a negative follow-up PCR test result
LFD tests should only be used when you do not have symptoms. You do not need to take a follow up PCR test if you test positive on an LFD test. However there are some circumstances when you are advised to take a follow up PCR test for specific reasons.

If this follow-up PCR test is negative, you are no longer required to self-isolate. Instead, you are advised to:

  • limit close contact with other people outside your household, especially in crowded, enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces
  • work from home if you are able to
  • wear a face covering in crowded, enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces and where you are in close contact with other people
  • limit contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with Covid-19
  • follow the guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread of Covid-19
You should follow this advice until 10 full days from your positive LFD test result.

If you develop any of the main symptoms of Covid-19 you should self-isolate and follow guidance for possible or confirmed Covid infection.

Scam PCR text alert: We are urging the public to be cautious if they receive a text asking them to apply for an ‘Omicron PCR test’. The text contains a link which directs you to a site resembling that of the NHS, and you are then asked for personal details. Do not submit your personal information this is a scam.

Please note that any texts you receive will be from NHS Test and Trace, and this will only be in relation to: a positive LFD test you have undertaken and reported online; a positive PCR test result, or because you have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive – NHS Test and Trace will provide detailed guidance on what your next steps should be, including how long you have to self-isolate for depending on your vaccination status.

You will also not be asked to have a confirmatory PCR test if you reported a positive LFD test, unless you have been advised to for specific reasons. You will also only be asked to book a test through the official Government website: Get a free PCR test to check if you have coronavirus (Covid-19)

Below is a screenshot of the scam text message to be aware of:

Scam Text Message

Resources and Further Information:

Please do keep an eye our Healthy Somerset website, which has a huge amount of information and resources to help keep everyone healthy happy and safe at this time:

For the latest local information as well as digital resources, posters and flyers please visit:

The Somerset Local Outbreak Management Plan outlines how we, the council, will work with the NHS Test and Trace Service, PHE, the NHS and other partners to ensure a whole system approach to preventing and managing local outbreaks. This can be found here.

Finally, please like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn and share our posts with your networks to help us communicate these important messages.

Follow our Director of Public Health account here.

We would really welcome your feedback on this email update, so please email any comments to the team using
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