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Mayor offers message of hope over Watford’s current COVID-19 situation

Elected Mayor for Watford, Peter Taylor, has said the town ‘will get through’ the difficulties it is facing due to the new variant of coronavirus.

The Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, was interviewed on Vibe Drive this week by Lee Partridge.  

During an interview with Vibe 107.6 this week, he acknowledged it was ‘totally normal’ for residents to ‘feel fed up’ at this present time. Particularly after Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced a third national lockdown for England on Tuesday. Nevertheless, the Mayor was keen to highlight the progress of the local COVID-19 vaccination programme. Mr Taylor revealed vaccines were ‘being rolled out really quickly’ across the borough. Furthermore, several GP practices began inoculating patients last month. At present, there are 5 vaccination centres in Watford and the nearby surrounding areas. This includes:

  • Watford Health Centre
  • Sheepcot Surgery
  • Colne Surgery
  • Bridgewater House
  • Allum Hall in Borehamwood

The Mayor went on to say he expected to ‘see the number of cases coming down’ within ‘the next few weeks.’ However, he indicated the latest COVID-19 ‘figures in Watford’ were ‘really worrying.’ Mr Taylor explained at the ‘end of last year,’ there were ‘about a hundred cases per hundred thousand.’ This then ‘got up to about 180,’ yet he recognised recent numbers were ‘now not far off a thousand’ and ‘have absolutely shot up.’ 

The Elected Mayor continued:

“We know that there are hundreds of people in Watford General at the moment with Covid. A lot of them very seriously ill, so you know you’ve got to take it seriously. It’s a huge issue locally and as I say this new variant, we know it’s just spreading through the town really quickly. Pretty much everyone I speak to has friends, family, people they know that have been directly impacted by it.”

He added ‘the age range’ of those contracting COVID-19 ‘this time’ was ‘much different,’ in comparison to the first wave. Thus ‘a lot of younger people’ are ‘being affected,’ along with those who are middle aged. The Mayor noted the situation was therefore ‘serious.’

What has the government said about the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine?

In a press conference on Thursday, the Prime Minister disclosed that nearly 1.5 million people in the UK had been immunised with a first dose. He stated the government plans to ensure vaccination centres are available to individuals within 10 miles of their home. Mr Johnson also said over 1,000 GP-led sites will be offering injections by the end of the week. In turn, the Army has been brought in to help facilitate the roll out of the vaccine.

How does the data look across South-West Hertfordshire at the moment?

According to figures released by the Government Office for Science and Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), the current reproduction number (R number) for the East of England is between 1.1-1.3. In turn, the number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the population for the week ending 3rd January was as follows:

South-West Hertfordshire Council Region

Number of cases per 100,000 people, in the week ending (3rd January 2021)

Number of cases per 100,000 people, for the previous week (27th December 2020)

Watford

999.2

892.6

Three Rivers

933.3

861.5

Hertsmere

1027.5

955

St Albans

716.7

626.5

Dacorum

695.3

542.8

Source: UK Government.

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