06 January 2022
Competent Authority Ministers (CAM) met yesterday to receive a COVID-19 update from the Strategic Coordination Group, which comprises representatives across Government departments and utility and infrastructure partners.
It was reported that staffing levels across the Island's critical services remain resilient and while there is additional pressure on the services, they are currently in good shape despite the rise in the number of cases.
CAM continue to meet regularly, receiving information and updates from Public Health officials and the Scientific and Technical Advisory Cell (STAC), to ensure the right policies and right response mechanisms remain in place. No further mitigations are currently planned.
The General Hospital currently has 17 patients who have tested positive for COVID and it is estimated 127 staff across Health and Community Services out of 2,485 employees are positive with COVID-19. Although a small number of elective surgeries have been cancelled as a result, the healthcare services remain steady and continue to deliver the full range of essential services.
Deputy Chief Minister, Senator Lyndon Farnham, said: "Although Omicron cases have been continuing to rise in Jersey and globally, our critical national infrastructure remains in a steady position. CAM continue to meet regularly to monitor the situation.
"Being fully vaccinated remains the most important defense against COVID-19 and protects all of Jersey's critical services. Fort Regent's Vaccination Centre has increased staffing capacity to welcome walk-in appointments every day for all Islanders eligible for a vaccine to go and get their first, second or booster dose without a pre-booked appointment."
This week, several planned policy changes came into effect, including mandatory mask wearing in most indoor public places, and the recommendation to work from home where possible.
On Tuesday, the majority of students returned to Government of Jersey schools. School attendance on Tuesday was 87% in primary schools, and 72% in secondary schools. A total of 540 students at three schools were taught remotely, due to 116 teaching staff and 115 non-teaching staff being absent from schools.
Senator Farnham added: "Schools and colleges continue to manage staff absence using a range of resources, and I would like to thank all education staff and students for their tremendous efforts in returning to school this week and being prepared to adapt. I would also like to commend the ongoing resilience of our healthcare workers."
Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ivan Muscat, said: "Vaccination protects all Islanders, businesses and critical services. It helps ensure that the General Hospital does not become overwhelmed with patients who have developed serious disease after catching COVID-19.
"Vaccination, of course, protects not just yourself but also those around you. Many Islanders may feel that COVID-19 does not threaten them if they have already caught COVID-19 once before, or perhaps feel the risk of severe disease is low due to being healthy or young. While this may be true in some cases, it is not true for all, and it is important to remember that vaccination ensures you are protecting others around you who may require hospital treatment if you pass COVID-19 on to them. Vaccination protects Islanders, frontline staff, businesses, and all the critical services in our Island.
"Although we are in a different place compared to last winter thanks to vaccination and improved treatments, Islanders must stay up to date with their vaccination schedule and ensure they are regularly testing themselves at home with LFTs in order to reduce the spread of infection as much as possible.
"LFTs are freely available Island-wide, and everyone is recommended to register onto the home testing programme even if they are already signed up onto another programme. By registering on the home testing programme, you can test yourself more frequently at appropriate times such as before leaving home to go to work, the shops, or the gym."