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New lockdown in England, including school closures, announced by Johnson, 4/1/21

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ainsworth74

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I don't see the point in testing any more. I don't believe that track and trace will ever work properly so what's the point in testing millions of people who feel fine and could get on with their lives?

I could be missing a trick but isn't the majority of testing still of symptomatic people who we definitely do need to isolate? Asymptomatic testing still seems to be quite a niche activity as far as I'm aware (but I'm open to correction)?
 
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Bantamzen

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I don't see the point in testing any more. I don't believe that track and trace will ever work properly so what's the point in testing millions of people who feel fine and could get on with their lives?
Quite honestly the mass testing is now more a case of bean counting than anything particularly useful in decision making.

And even within each Local Authority area.

If you follow BradMet's twitter feed you will see daily posts along the lines of "Today we have teams out carrying out door to door testing in X and Y areas".
X & Y are generally always in what I would the "ultra urban Bradford city" area, and coincidentally always seem to be the areas coloured dark blue or purple on the zoomed in map of the country showing the case rates.
They rarely, if ever, seem to be in the outskirts of the district on the less dense or more rural areas which are generally light blue, green or white.

There are of course many reasons why those "ultra urban" areas always tend to have high case rates, even last summer, but perhaps the old adage of "the more you look the more you find" applies here.
Meanwhile here in Baildon I have yet to see a single door-to-door tester. And rates remain generally lower than areas with intensive testing.

Unhelpfully because the Bradford City area itself seems virtually incapable of having very low rates then the rest of the district, including those less dense and rural areas which during last summer had a long time with absolutely no cases at all, have been lumbered with "local restrictions" of one sort or another since last July. This is one reason why I am really hoping we don't go back in the regional / local tier system as I can quite easily foresee that the Bradford District as a whole is never lifted from them, ever. Certainly last summer when we all had restrictions from July the cases were almost exclusively concentrated on the City area itself and not spread across the whole district.
You have to remember that extra testing has been in the city for quite some time, as you say above the more you test the more you find. The numbers are heading in the right direction, we are only a few points off turning from dark to light blue on the map.
 

35B

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I could be missing a trick but isn't the majority of testing still of symptomatic people who we definitely do need to isolate? Asymptomatic testing still seems to be quite a niche activity as far as I'm aware (but I'm open to correction)?
The report yesterday about the Zoe Covid team recommending a further 4 symptoms giving eligibility for testing suggested that the proportion of positive tests would fall from 1 in 46 at present to 1 in 95. I'd suggest the challenge is to get the number of cases - which IMHO does include asymptomatic - down to a level where track and trace can be effective.

There is asymptomatic testing in some professions - I know of one school, and believe it's standard here in Lincolnshire, where the staff self-administer lateral flow tests twice weekly. A positive lateral flow will initiate bubble closures etc. until the individual has had a negative PCR test. Fortunately, in the school I know of, no one has yet tested positive to bring those measures into play.
 

bramling

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I could be missing a trick but isn't the majority of testing still of symptomatic people who we definitely do need to isolate? Asymptomatic testing still seems to be quite a niche activity as far as I'm aware (but I'm open to correction)?

I know of a colleague who booked up tests after visiting a dying relative in a Covid ward. From what I understand this wasn’t strictly permitted - in order to get the system to allow the test he apparently had to tick the box on the website to say he had symptoms.

On the presumption that such tests would be accurate, I’d say this was pretty sensible. All his tests came back negative.
 
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Mojo

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I could be missing a trick but isn't the majority of testing still of symptomatic people who we definitely do need to isolate? Asymptomatic testing still seems to be quite a niche activity as far as I'm aware (but I'm open to correction)?
Certainly round here, Asymptomatic testing seems to be the most common source, with the council having six sites across their area, some of which only opened in the last few weeks. The number of companies eligible for this testing was also increased recently.

Looking at the Gov website it seems that for England, the average number of PCR tests per day over the past seven days is 224k, and lateral flow tests is 220k. To my knowledge LFTs are only used for asymptomatic testing, so it seems that roughly half the tests are being done on those asymptomatic, possibly more given there will probably be a number of people with no symptoms applying for them, plus also I think some sectors are still eligible to apply for asymptomatic PCR tests.
 

Bertie the bus

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The report yesterday about the Zoe Covid team recommending a further 4 symptoms giving eligibility for testing suggested that the proportion of positive tests would fall from 1 in 46 at present to 1 in 95. I'd suggest the challenge is to get the number of cases - which IMHO does include asymptomatic - down to a level where track and trace can be effective.
Tim Spector, the professor behind ZOE, has been banging on for months about additional symptoms. Basically, if we listened to him anybody who felt a bit groggy when they woke up would have to self isolate and book a test. How would society function if anybody who didn’t feel 100% had to stay home for several days?
 

Mojo

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Interesting, thank you all :)
And as if by magic since posting my reply, the latest data has come out which shows that significantly more LFTs are now being carried out than PCR tests.

From BBC NEWS Live (so no link available)
There has been a huge spike in the number of rapid turnaround lateral flow device Covid tests being taken in England, according to weekly data.

There has been a huge spike in the number of rapid turnaround lateral flow device Covid tests being taken in England, according to weekly data.

A record 2,400,724 of the tests were conducted in the week to 10 February, according to the latest NHS Test and Trace figures.

This compares to 1,295,051 PCR tests in the same timeframe.
 

takno

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Tim Spector, the professor behind ZOE, has been banging on for months about additional symptoms. Basically, if we listened to him anybody who felt a bit groggy when they woke up would have to self isolate and book a test. How would society function if anybody who didn’t feel 100% had to stay home for several days?
What's more, if you're ever feeling groggy at any point in your life after a positive test then it's the Long Covid. All other diseases and conditions are now cured don't you know?
 

WelshBluebird

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How would society function if anybody who didn’t feel 100% had to stay home for several days?
At least we wouldn't have to put up with the idiots who drag themselves into the office despite being full of flu and end up infecting multiple people who will then end up having to take time off themselves. In that case one person who could have stayed at home for a few days has ended up causing several people to have to stay at home for a few days. I've had to deal with that on teams in work before where instead of just one person taking sick leave you've had several having to because that one person didn't.

Of course, I don't expect (nor want) a rule that means you have to stay home if you are ill. But I do hope that this will make people more aware that if they are ill, then maybe spreading that illness around isn't a great idea if it can be avoided. For some jobs maybe work from home for a day or two if you are sneezing all over the place several times a minute, and for others where being ill is actually grounds to not be in work (e.g. kitchen staff) I hope those rules are actually more tightly followed by managers who before this would bully staff to come in despite being ill.
 

joncombe

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At least we wouldn't have to put up with the idiots who drag themselves into the office despite being full of flu and end up infecting multiple people who will then end up having to take time off themselves. In that case one person who could have stayed at home for a few days has ended up causing several people to have to stay at home for a few days. I've had to deal with that on teams in work before where instead of just one person taking sick leave you've had several having to because that one person didn't.

Of course, I don't expect (nor want) a rule that means you have to stay home if you are ill. But I do hope that this will make people more aware that if they are ill, then maybe spreading that illness around isn't a great idea if it can be avoided. For some jobs maybe work from home for a day or two if you are sneezing all over the place several times a minute, and for others where being ill is actually grounds to not be in work (e.g. kitchen staff) I hope those rules are actually more tightly followed by managers who before this would bully staff to come in despite being ill.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. It's not always that simple.

A lot of companies will limit the amount of time you take on sick-pay. If you are off longer than that, you only get statutory pay. In fact I suspect in a lot of companies the only pay is statutory when off sick. In addition a lot of companies will required a "Doctors Note" if you are off for more than a certain number of days and that is hard to get (have you tried to see a Dr lately?). Not everyone can afford to lose the pay.

You can also be called in over the amount of sick leave or call you in to a meeting to explain yourself if you have taken "a lot" of sick time.

So I personally don't think people that are doing this are often doing it by choice. I suspect most people, if they are feeling ill, particularly with something like Flu would much rather stay at home in bed on full pay. The problem is they either don't have that choice or they will, at the very least, have to explain themselves when they are back in the office.

It's a difficult balancing act. If you give people unlimited sick days at full pay some will take liberties (I've worked at places where some staff are quite open about it and regard sick days as an extension of leave, so towards they end of the leave year, they go out for a good night and are hung over, just call in sick the next day). If too little, you end up in the situation you describe.
 

bramling

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At least we wouldn't have to put up with the idiots who drag themselves into the office despite being full of flu and end up infecting multiple people who will then end up having to take time off themselves. In that case one person who could have stayed at home for a few days has ended up causing several people to have to stay at home for a few days. I've had to deal with that on teams in work before where instead of just one person taking sick leave you've had several having to because that one person didn't.

Of course, I don't expect (nor want) a rule that means you have to stay home if you are ill. But I do hope that this will make people more aware that if they are ill, then maybe spreading that illness around isn't a great idea if it can be avoided. For some jobs maybe work from home for a day or two if you are sneezing all over the place several times a minute, and for others where being ill is actually grounds to not be in work (e.g. kitchen staff) I hope those rules are actually more tightly followed by managers who before this would bully staff to come in despite being ill.

Never going to win on that one.

Come to work = disease spreader.
Don't come to work = skiver palming off work onto others.

We simply have to accept that picking up minor viruses is a fact of life, indeed it's a key part of building up a working immune system.
 

Ediswan

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For some jobs maybe work from home for a day or two if you are sneezing all over the place several times a minute
I was doing that over 15 years ago. Everybody used a laptop with a docking station as a desktop. If you were feeling like you were 'coming down with something' take the laptop home. It should be noted that this employer had a generous sick pay policy. This way they got some work done rather than none. I don't recall any subsequent discussions as to whether a particular day should be booked as sick or WFH.
 

Richard Scott

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At least we wouldn't have to put up with the idiots who drag themselves into the office despite being full of flu and end up infecting multiple people who will then end up having to take time off themselves.
I'd be seriously impressed with someone who manages to get themselves to work when full of flu. Usual symptoms are ache so much can't even get out of bed!!
 

3rd rail land

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Of course, I don't expect (nor want) a rule that means you have to stay home if you are ill. But I do hope that this will make people more aware that if they are ill, then maybe spreading that illness around isn't a great idea if it can be avoided. For some jobs maybe work from home for a day or two if you are sneezing all over the place several times a minute.
Now that employers have experienced how WFH works and employees have gotten used to this way of working, for jobs where WFH is practicable, I except WFH to happen a lot more when 0one has minor illnesses such as a cold. When I used to work from an office and came in in with a cough or runny nose etc I would pretty quickly pretty be ordered to head home and work from there until I had fully recovered. Sure, one may not be able to do all of their work as effectively from home but it's a lot better than risking infecting others and have several people off work through illness.
 
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kristiang85

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Never going to win on that one.

Come to work = disease spreader.
Don't come to work = skiver palming off work onto others.

We simply have to accept that picking up minor viruses is a fact of life, indeed it's a key part of building up a working immune system.

Yes, absolutely this. There are those office heroes who come in coughing and spluttering when clearly they should have called in; that is certainly inconsiderate (both to colleagues and fellow commuters), but we can't live in a culture where any sniffle means staying at home. People with children especially will never be able to go to work during certain times of year! Working from home should help, but it still has an effect on office relations.

I am so worried that we are leading up to being a nation of hypochrondriacs, and the collective immune system is going to be incredibly weak. It will only lead to more problems in the long run.
 

MikeWM

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I am so worried that we are leading up to being a nation of hypochrondriacs, and the collective immune system is going to be incredibly weak. It will only lead to more problems in the long run.

Yes, I agree entirely.

Random anecdote as an aside : I had hand, foot and mouth disease [1] a few years ago, which parents of young children in particular will know is a very infectious disease. I carried on going to work - perhaps unwisely - but no-one else in the office caught it.

[1] which if you don't know, is *not* the same as foot and mouth disease that cattle get, even though it sounds very similar :)
 

ChrisC

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I'd be seriously impressed with someone who manages to get themselves to work when full of flu. Usual symptoms are ache so much can't even get out of bed!!
Absolutely agree. I’ve only ever had the flu three times during my life and all three times it put me in bed for around a week. Also it left me feeling tired and nowhere near 100% well for a number of weeks afterwards. Many people say they have the flu when it’s just a very severe heavy cold.
 

Nicholas Lewis

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Weekl 6 Flu & Covid survey continues to report decreases in all metric across age groups and geographies. Chart below of weekly infection rates shows the challenge of going to national release of restrictions rather than regionally based with the red and orange areas going down slowly now. Oh and Devon is the new Cornwall firmly in Tier 1 territory.

1613669896400.png
PHE investigated outbreaks down from 787 to 585 across last week with educational settings producing 66 despite the restricted openings.

Hospitalisation rates maybe showing an early impact of the vaccine in older age groups

1613670356595.png
 

yorksrob

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As an "orange" area that was forced into lockdown when the rest of the country was going haywire, I have no intention of being kept in local lockdown because of our stable rates.
 

MikeWM

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Peterborough appears to be the new Leicester/Bradford. Much higher than everywhere surrounding for months now.

(At least they don't lump it in with the rest of Cambridgeshire, even though we rather bafflingly share a (useless) Mayor)
 

bramling

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Peterborough appears to be the new Leicester/Bradford. Much higher than everywhere surrounding for months now.

(At least they don't lump it in with the rest of Cambridgeshire, even though we rather bafflingly share a (useless) Mayor)

Higher proportion of people whose jobs don’t allow them to WFH?

Of course we all know that the official reason will be that people aren’t following “the rules”.
 

Class 33

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Whilst I'm currently feeling optimistic that things should be much better by June and July, I think the easing of lockdown on 8th March won't be anything to get excited about. Seems it will just probably be schools reopening and that's about it! The "Stay at Home" rule I think will probably still be going. Which will be bonkers if it is, expecting everyone to stay at home(apart from allowed exceptions) for what could be 3 months! Many people will want to start getting out and about a bit more, and by that I don't just mean locally, but getting out for a few hours or so a bit further out on the bus or train. But as mentioned if the weather warms up next month and the "Stay at Home" nonsense is still going, then expect many people to ignore that. I've not been out of the city now since late October. I will want to get out of the city next month for a journey and change of scenery, which would be good for my mental health. Many other people will be thinking the same.
 

Bertie the bus

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The "Stay at Home" rule I think will probably still be going. Which will be bonkers if it is, expecting everyone to stay at home(apart from allowed exceptions) for what could be 3 months!
I’ve obeyed the law and more or less followed all of the guidelines (only minor breaches which couldn't possibly harm anybody) since this began but if he doesn’t say stay at home finishes on 8 March, then as far as I’m concerned stay at home finishes on 22 Feb – a couple of minutes after his announcement.
 

brad465

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This is the weekend weather forecast in London (as the most populous area), but similar can be seen across large parts of east and south-east England too:

1613678618784.png

Contrast that to the weekend before, when there was still snow and ice around but still plenty out and about, I can see the police having a hard job trying to manage any non-compliance a very warm dry outlook like this will cause.
 

Ediswan

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Contrast that to the weekend before, when there was still snow and ice around but still plenty out and about, I can see the police having a hard job trying to manage any non-compliance a very warm dry outlook like this will cause.
It should certainly explore the definition of 'excercise'.
 

bengley

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Call it a rail forum worship and squeeze in under religious guidance or call it a support group helping people recover from lack of train trips
Call it whatever you want, I'll be there no matter how far away it may be. I've had enough.

I'm sure Yorkie would be up for a meet too, I haven't seen him since we had a bike ride in about 2011!
 

Philip

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Weekl 6 Flu & Covid survey continues to report decreases in all metric across age groups and geographies. Chart below of weekly infection rates shows the challenge of going to national release of restrictions rather than regionally based with the red and orange areas going down slowly now. Oh and Devon is the new Cornwall firmly in Tier 1 territory.

View attachment 90950
PHE investigated outbreaks down from 787 to 585 across last week with educational settings producing 66 despite the restricted openings.

Hospitalisation rates maybe showing an early impact of the vaccine in older age groups

View attachment 90952

Regional lockdowns aren't an option now, I think at the very least there will be little compliance if some areas of the country return to a semi-normal while others are still under lockdown conditions.
 
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