Health Platform Update and Announcement of #KeepSafe.MoveForward campaign
As we get back into the swing of things, let’s stay safe. Be wise when it comes to choosing places to have fun and keep the COVID-19-safety momentum going.
Over the past few weeks, the number of new positive cases have fluctuated but the number of new cases has dropped to below 20% this week. This is a key indication that our surveillance strategy is allowing us to be on the front foot to detect any “bush fires” and to activate our response without delay.
- The new case numbers have not increased further in the last week. (233 cases per day as at 23 October and at 2 November 192 cases per day).
- The hospitalisation and mortality data remain stable with a slight increase in admissions in private facilities.
- 20 000 tests are conducted per week with below 10% positivity rate.
- Increase in cases in specific geographic areas, are being tracked.
- Waste-water surveillance is now part of our surveillance strategy which is being conducted at 10 waste-water plants. In the previous week this testing strategy indicated a sharp increase in cases but this week there has been a reduction in the waste-water testing.
Most sub-districts in the Metro are seeing a decrease or flattening of cases except Khayelitsha which has seen a small increase – but this is off a very small base, and therefore not a cause for concern at this stage. We will closely monitor all increases.
A similar scenario is being experienced in the Rural areas with some areas in George (Thembalethu, Pacaltsdorp & Uniondale) having seen a small increase in cases. Fewer cases have been recorded in last few days with most cases being in the 20-30-year age group. Similarly, in Bitou (Knysna), there have been small increases (19 new cases) but through our surveillance strategy combined with our local team’s knowledge there are no clear clusters. It has been established the increase is as result of local travellers who returned to Bitou and subsequently tested positive.
#KeepSafe.MoveForward campaign provides safer options when socialising
The Western Cape Department of Health has launched its awareness campaign #KeepSafe.MoveForward to encourage people to make safer choices to reduce their risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19.
The campaign encompasses a range of communication applications on bus shelters, taxi’s, radio, digital and static billboards, social and digital media as well as outdoor activations. The main purpose of the campaign is to provide citizens with safe options when going out and to encourage the uptake of health services while protecting the vulnerable.
Make safer choices
As we move forward with our lives, we embark on activities which carries possible risk of becoming infected. Gathering indoors in crowded places with poor ventilation where social distancing cannot be maintained can lead to rapid infection through super-spreader events. It is thus very important that we socialise safely. We’re all eager to get back to our everyday, managing the risks can help us get there faster. Pick safe spots to meet up with friends and always mask up. Skip the crowds, stick to spacious and take it outside. Some tips to #KeepSafe.MoveForward:
- Use outside space because fresher is better – dine outside, do outdoor activities
- Make smart choices in every setting. For example, take the stairs if you cannot distance in the elevator.
- Review the capacity of a venue – if you cannot maintain 1.5m then consider an alternative venue. Reward those businesses that think of your safety.
- Avoid queues and close contact where possible when going out - order drinks and food from your table instead of standing in queues. If someone stands too close, kindly and politely ask them to step back.
- Ensure the venue you are at has its windows open to ensure fresh air circulates. If they don’t do so, find a venue that will.
- If inside, keep masks whenever possible (when finished eating) and try and sit close to a window that is open.
- Complete the attendance register honestly and accurately so we can notify you in case of possible infection. We need this data for contact tracing, and it can help us prevent a bushfire.
- Always wear your mask when outside and continue applying the 5 golden rules of hygiene in your everyday activities.
- Do not share drinks or cigarettes, and make sure your cutlery has been properly cleaned before use.
- If you are sick, STAY at home. It is not worth the risk of infecting your friends.
Protecting the vulnerable
Throughout the pandemic, the Department has been able to apply its data-led approach on identifying those at risk of severe COVID-19 infection (diabetics, over 55 years and those with underlying conditions). Through this part of its targeted communication, the Department urges this group particularly to be vigilant when going out. It also appeals to the younger members of the community to protect these vulnerable people by adhering to the 5 golden rules of hygiene and to wear their masks at all times when going out. KeepSafe.MoveForward
Reintroducing health services
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a reduction in the uptake of health services. It is thus very important to reintroduce health services to the citizens of the Western Cape. This leg of the campaign encourages people to access health services again – but to do so safely. As we move forward, it is important that we safely get back to looking after our general health so that we can look after our future. Ensuring family immunisations are up to date, attending health appointments and taking chronic medication as prescribed is vital in ensuring our community’s health improves. As part of their innovations, the Department has also initiated a mechanism for medication to be delivered to the homes of stable chronic patients. Patients are encouraged to speak to their health worker to be able to make use of this service, which also enables them to stay home and reduce the risk of infection by having to go out to collect their medication. LookAfterOurHealth.LookAfterOurFuture.
Look after our health. Look after our future