24 April 2020
The weekly COVID-19 statistics showing ‘Where are we on the curve’ now include more information about the impact of the ‘Stay Home’ instruction Islanders have been adhering to since 30th March.
The latest weekly report includes a daily estimate of new coronavirus cases plotted against a new indicative curve. This now estimates how many new cases there would be if the island were to cease the ‘Stay Home’ instruction at the beginning of May and return to the ‘social distancing’ measures that were already in effect in March, before ‘lockdown’.
Results of COVID tests are updated daily on gov.je and are then used to produce the weekly statistical modelling. The latest update shows that the adherence to ‘Stay Home’ by Islanders has flattened the curve and allowed the Government time to prepare Jersey’s health service to deal effectively with the pandemic. Preparations include the construction of a Nightingale hospital, which will provide acute, hospital care for Islanders during the peak of the pandemic.
The Government of Jersey will continue its contain, delay, and shield strategy. The primary aim is to flatten the epidemic curve and to prevent the Island’s health services from becoming overwhelmed. It is for this reason that the Minister for Health and Social Services has extended the Order to restrict movement for another two weeks. It is now due to expire on Monday 11 May. This follows the recommendation of the Medical Officer of Health and will allow the Government time to continue to plan its exit process. The partial lifting of restrictions in jurisdictions across Europe has brought many of their restrictive measures to the same level of lockdown as Jersey imposed on 30 March.
The Chief Minister John le Fondré said: "I want to thank Islanders for abiding by the ‘Stay Home’ instruction. All the indications are that Islanders’ community spirit – your commitment to Staying at Home – is significantly dampening and delaying the spread of Coronavirus.
"I must emphasise, though, that we are at an incredibly early stage and we may yet see a steepening of the curve. If Islanders begin to loosen their resolve, and deliberately break social distancing guidance, then we will almost certainly see the curve steepening. And this would put our people and our health service at serious risk.
"I am intensely aware of the strain the lockdown measures are placing on individuals, on families, and on businesses. We are working on a way to ease the current lockdown measures, and I will make a statement on this exit process by the end of the month."
Since early April, the early indicators of the spread of coronavirus infection (people calling the helpline to report fever, and positive test cases) have generally decreased
The daily hospital admissions of patients who test positive for covid-19 appears to show low levels of infection in the community
The future epidemic curve that the Jersey population could experience will depend on the extent and timing of any relaxation measures after the ‘Stay home’ instruction ends