COLUMN: Small things add up against Covid - By Leader of NKDC Richard Wright

From sanitising your hands to taking a moment to chat with or help a neighbour, the coronavirus pandemic is proof that the small things really do add up.

Coun Richard Wright, Leader of North Kesteven District Council. EMN-200925-180147001

From sanitising your hands to taking a moment to chat with or help a neighbour, the coronavirus pandemic is proof that the small things really do add up.

The simple acts of washing our hands, wearing a face covering and keeping two metres apart, or one metre plus precautions where not possible, gives us all the power to protect each other.

It’s easy to remember – just think hands, face, space.

Thanks to our collective efforts to take these small actions every day, the number of cases in our district cumulatively throughout the pandemic has remained among the lowest levels across local authority areas.

It’s important to let you know however that there’s been an increase in cases in our district, and that progressively the curve is going up. This rise is happening across many different areas of the country, but while it is not unique to us only in North Kesteven, it is our responsibility to act.

We must keep washing our hands, keep wearing face coverings and keep our distance, because we can stop the virus spreading when we ourselves ‘multiply’ such actions by all doing these things.

You must wear a face covering indoors and in enclosed spaces unless you are exempt, making sure it covers your nose and mouth. Masks aren’t pleasant but they are one of the best tools we all have.

You’ll know too that social gatherings of more than six are now illegal indoors or outside, unless in specific scenarios such as work, education or training.

There are also other exemptions to this rule of six - for example family arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents.

You can also all help to ensure coronavirus tests are available for those who need them by not booking one unless you have coronavirus symptoms – a persistent cough, a high temperature or a change to, or loss of, your sense of taste and smell – or you’re asked to take a test by a healthcare professional.

It’s also now a legal requirement for some businesses to take your details for Test and Trace and keep these for 21 days. You might be asked to scan a QR code with your phone from this week, or you can simply give details verbally as already is being done. And if you later receive an alert from the Test and Trace service requesting you self-isolate, you must.

There’s an NHS contact tracing app on the way too, and the more of us who use this app the more effective it will be.

Life is closer to our old ‘normal’ than it has been for some time, with the careful return of our students to schools and enjoying time with friends and tutors again.

Our hospitality venues and services are back in the flow with Covid measures protecting customers and staff, and businesses will be relying on people to shop local now and towards Christmas.

We’ll be recognising the wonderful community focus of groups and individuals, including life-saving efforts to help others through coronavirus, with an online Community Champion Awards celebration on Wednesday 7 October. This can be accessed at www.NKawards.org on the night.

Every individual action against coronavirus is a vital part of the jigsaw. Together these efforts can help lower cases in North Kesteven and contribute to our collective health for us all.