HICovid19 digest (30 Sep 20)

It shouldn’t come as a surprise. Way back in March and April we were told to expect a second wave and that’s what’s happening now in many parts of the UK.

However there’s no indication yet that we’re going to experience one here. The lasts stats (for the week of 14-20 Sep 20 ie last week) show fewer new infections across Cambridgeshire than for the week before. Both South Cambs and the City are at about one third of the national average. For the seven days 19-25 Sep 20 there are a few wards with 3 or 4 infections. Histon & Impington is reported in the 0-2 category. The flare up in Fulbourn appears to have died down but there others elsewhere.

The national response is a tightening of the rules: no gatherings of more than six, pubs and restaurants to close at 10pm, more wearing of face coverings etc. These might seem bothersome, especially for our local businesses, given our situation but think of them as insurance. If they keep the infection away and we thereby avoid a local lockdown then they’re worth it.

Our businesses are behaving in an exemplary fashion. Anyone who’s been elsewhere in the UK will confirm that they compare well. It’s important that we all recognise this and give them maximum support: give them our business and obey the rules which they have put into place. They are for everyone’s benefit.

In terms of local developments it’s good to see Topiary Tree opening in the premises previously home to Daisy Chain, to be once more served by the library with a mobile unit operating on Baptist Church land and to continue to enjoy the Indian Ocean even as the School Hill site is being redeveloped.

Finally a footnote: the biggest threat to our being able to continue without a local lockdown is the return of students to Cambridge University and Anglia Ruskin University. Given what’s been seen elsewhere there is a risk. However the college structure of Cambridge University and the regional nature of ARU’s intake both mitigate that risk. The Director of Public Health also reckons that there is learning from what is happening elsewhere so just maybe we will see this through. The County Council now has the authority to close pubs etc which break the rules and it advises that it will not hesitate to do so.

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