Harrow advised to ‘celebrate Christmas safely’ after large rise of COVID-19 infections

(Credit: Google Maps/ Harrow Council)

Harrow Council has urged residents to celebrate Christmas safely after infections have increased by 1,430 positive tests in the past week. 

The message comes as Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that many other parts of the UK are being put into tier 4 on Boxing Day including –

  • Sussex
  • Suffolk
  • Parts of Essex that are currently not in Tier 4
  • Waverley in Surrey
  • Oxfordshire
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Hampshire (aside from the New Forest)
  • Norfolk

A message from Harrow Council Leader, Cllr Graham Henson said: “It has been an extremely tough and challenging year for us all. We had all hoped that we could take time to relax with family over the Christmas period, and boosted by the good news about the vaccine being rolled out we could finally see some light at the end of the tunnel. 

“The significant rise in Covid infections over the past few weeks does concern us all. 

“Christmas isn’t cancelled but we must all have a simpler celebration in order to save lives.

“This means not stopping for a cuppa on a friend’s doorstep or going over to see grandparents on Christmas Day.

“The best way to show we care about our friends and family, particularly our most vulnerable older relatives, is by keeping them safe.

“You can still deliver food to people in need but please don’t go inside – people can spread the virus before they even know they have it, so the safest thing is to act as though you might have it and protect each other.

“Catch up with friends and family via phone or video calls. We know it’s difficult and this is not the Christmas you had planned, but this is vital so we can break the chain of infection and all get back to normal sooner.

“With cases of coronavirus in Harrow, and the rest of London, rising so dramatically and a new, more infectious strain of this deadly virus out there, we must all play our part and stick to the new Tier 4 rules.

Today, Harrow’s figures show:

  • The rate of infection is 559 per 100,000 (national average is 302)
  • 1,430 people tested positive in the past 7 days

“There is already a big impact on Northwick Park Hospital –  admissions are rising and there is an increased need for ventilators at the moment.

“I urge you all to work with the new Tier 4 rules in place because they are there to protect us, our friends and family – and ultimately save lives. Under them, everyone must stay at home and leave only for a limited set of reasons – including going to work if you are unable to work from home, essential shopping and exercise. Read more 

“As a Harrow resident you should stay close to home and certainly not leave Tier 4 unless it is for work, as mentioned previously, or medical appointments. 

“Please remember that staying at home is the best way to break the chain of infection.

“If you need to go out to buy essentials please make sure you stay local, remain vigilant and wash your hands regularly, particularly when you come home and before or after using public transport, wear a face covering properly over your nose and mouth, and keep your distance from anyone outside your household.

“Always remember your hand sanitiser and face mask when you leave home.

“The next few weeks will be difficult for many, and some will be spending Christmas alone and isolated. The council is working with the community to ensure help and support is available, if you are struggling, help is available on our website or phone  020 8901 2698.

“Finally I would like to say thank you.  As we look back over the past year, I have been moved and humbled in the way our community come together during this crisis to support each other and been there for those who have faced hardship. 

“It is what makes Harrow such a great place and will get us through this current surge of the virus.  By working together, and with the community looking out for each other, we previously managed to reduce the infection rate in Harrow by following the Public Health guidance and the national restrictions – and we can do so again. 

“I wish you all a happy and safe Christmas and again urge you to keep to the rules to protect us all.

“Please stay safe and take all necessary precautions to do.”

(Source: Harrow Council)