The ending of all Covid restrictions in the UK and the switch of media attention to the war in Ukraine may have taken people’s minds off the virus, but office managers should take note of the latest data showing that the pandemic is far from over.
After peaking in January, case numbers had been declining consistently for nearly two months, with hospitalisations and deaths also falling. With the government calling for workers to go back to the office, it seemed normality could resume.
However, the start of spring has not been too positive; the rates have begun going up again, with a 46 per cent rise in the week to March 9th. Hospital admissions have risen over 12 per cent.
This has been uneven across the UK, with the highest rates in Scotland and Northern Ireland, although the southern half of England has also been high. The levels of infection are lowest in Wales and parts of northern and central England.
While the majority of London has fairly low rates, they are higher in the south west of the capital and in many parts of the home counties, meaning there is significant potential for carriers in the Home Counties to bring the virus into workplaces with them.
That’s why it is important to maintain good hygiene in work, not least by ensuring surfaces are kept clean and germ free as much as possible to reduce the potential for viral spread.
A good reason for offices to take extra steps may be that the risk of further spread is being heightened by the relaxation of measures in the UK, not least testing.
Speaking to The Independent, World Health Organisation Foundation chief executive Dr Anil Soni expressed concern at the reduction in testing, stating that surveillance is “incredibly important”, not least with the virus still highly prevalent in many countries with low vaccination rates.
He remarked: “Dismantling of the testing infrastructure here, strikes me as very worrying.”
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