On Wednesday afternoon the Isle of Wight changed from low risk to medium risk on the NHS Covid-19 Test and Trace App.
It wasn’t clear what had driven the change, so News OnTheWight sought clarification from the Isle of Wight council. We specifically asked them:
It says ‘your local authority or a neighbouring one has higher levels of infection than other parts of the country.
a) Is it the Isle of Wight it’s referring to?
b) If not IW, which of the local authorities near to us?
Their response makes it clear that the don’t exactly know why the change has occurred. Not only that, but the Government department overseeing this cannot give them a precise answer either.
This was on the day that the Test and Trace App was rolled out across the country.
IWC say they’re working with the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) today to determine the cause for change.
‘Could’ and ‘May’
Isle of Wight Council leader, Dave Stewart, said:
“The change could simply be down to the national alert level rising from three to four. The five new confirmed cases reported yesterday (Wednesday) may also have driven the change.
“We are told by the DHSC that most local authorities in England are now classified as medium risk because either they or their neighbouring local authority has high or rising levels of infections.
“We will continue to work with the DHSC today to try to secure more information on the reasons for the change here.”
Stewart: No “local lockdown”
He went on to make assurances that the Isle of Wight was not heading for a local lockdown.
Cllr Stewart said,
“We understand that there are some concerns that the Island might be heading for a local lockdown as a result of the change in alert level on the NHS Covid-19 app, but this is not the case.
“The Island still has a relatively low rate of infection compared with other areas of the country and we continue to monitor this on a daily basis.”
Stewart: Be vigilant of Coronavirus symptoms
The leader of the council went on to say,
“In the meantime, we should all continue to be vigilant of Coronavirus symptoms which include a new continuous cough, high temperature, or a loss or change in your sense of taste or smell.
“It also important that we follow the government guidelines: hands, face, space.
- Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser regularly.
- Wear a face-covering where appropriate.
- Keep space from other people; two metres or at least one metre apart.
“If you or someone you know, displays any symptoms, no matter how mild, please get a free test by calling 119 or visiting NHS.uk
“The council has also produced a self-isolation toolkit to help people prepare to self-isolate if they need to.”