25 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Alderney since the first case was identified on Friday (16 July). 23 of the current 25 active cases are linked. Two others are travel-related or contact-related and have no link to the main cluster. There continue to be no cases requiring hospital care.
Around 800 tests were carried out from Friday and over the weekend as part of a testing strategy which sees not only tests for contacts and anyone displaying symptoms, but also surge and source testing, where all individuals who attended an event or place of interest were invited for testing. This high volume of testing targeted to areas of concern is a core part of the Bailiwick’s planned response for any such cluster of cases.
Alongside the testing strategy, some (but not all) direct contacts of cases are required to self-isolate. Each is given guidance by Public Health, which takes into account the individuals vaccination status, occupation and the likelihood they will come into contact with vulnerable people.
Dr Nicola Brink, Director of Public Health said
“We are testing in very high numbers in Alderney to give us the best possible visibility of where the virus is, so we can bring it under control quickly. I realise this is causing some anxiousness in Alderney, which had only seen one positive case throughout the pandemic before this cluster. We also know that for those who are having to self-isolate, because they are not fully vaccinated or because of the nature of their work, this can have a particularly big impact as many people in Alderney work not just one but two or three different jobs. The next 48 hours will be key in telling us the full extent of the situation in Alderney. But at this point, with the community’s cooperation, I’m still confident we can bring the virus under control quickly and we will not eed to consider lockdown measures.”
The States of Alderney thanks Islanders for their cooperation in seeking testing and, where necessary, self-isolating.
States Member Bill Abel, member of the Civil Contingencies Authority said
“There’s no doubt this outbreak has rocked our community after more than 18 months with no community seeding and the impact on the community and in particular our younger working people is substantial. We have had fantastic support from the Guernsey and Alderney health and medical teams and I am sure the community will support me in hanking them for their hard work and dedication.
Testing is continuing both via track and trace and a broader scheme of ‘source testing’, and Islanders are to be thanked for coming forward for testing. I don’t think I need to remind anyone to practice good hand hygiene, stay home if you’re unwell and report any symptoms, and respect each other’s personal space. Although things are difficult for us, we have a highly vaccinated community and are in a good place to cope with this cluster, and we’re encouraged that currently we have no seriously ill cases requiring hospital care. We are working very closely with Public Health, and we should all test if we’ve been asked to test and self-isolate where we’ve been asked to self-isolate. We also need to maintain our perspective, as for many of us, we’re not being asked to do anything except follow the good practice that we know so well.”
Mr Abel also thanked Alderney’s shopping and hospitality venues for their response in managing the situation with sensitivity and support for the measures that have been put in place.
The States of Alderney, Civil Contingencies Authority and Public Health Services will continue to provide updates over the coming days.
Further advice and information is available at covid19.gov.gg