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The Bristol Briefing: Bristol ‘once again at critical point in the pandemic’

Cases are still rising sharply and now the small number of Covid patients in hospital is starting to increase.

Coronavirus in Bristol

Bristol Covid weekly update

⚠️ Bristol’s director of public health Christina Gray has said we are “once again at a critical point in the pandemic”. With Covid cases spreading fastest among under-30s, she urged people to get tested and keep washing hands, covering faces and giving others space.

Five neighbourhoods in Bristol are recording some of the highest Covid transmission rates in the country, the latest government data has shown.  The city’s highest infestation rate has been recorded in Cotham where 61 cases were confirmed in the week leading up to 17 June – more than seven times the UK average.  (Source: Bristol Live)

A new walk-in PCR testing site has opened in Bristol Harbour, aimed particularly at young people meeting friends locally. Transmission rates are rising fastest among the under-30s. “Asymptomatic testing is so important in helping our Public Health teams identify infection and enable people to safely self-isolate and cut off chains of transmission,” said Deputy Mayor and Cabinet minister for Communities and Public Health, Asher Craig. 

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There have been 790 new Covid cases in Bristol in the last week, which is 75% higher than the previous week (451).

The rate of Covid in Bristol is 171 per 100,000 people, higher than England’s of 102 per 100,000.

There are now 10 Covid patients being treated across Bristol’s two NHS trusts as of 22nd June, up from 4 last week.

? 1st Covid jabs given in Bristol: 281,547  (+16,347) – 66.3 of adults (+3.1%)
?? 2nd Covid jabs given in Bristol: 183,667 (+5,292) – 43.3% of adults (+1.1%)

➡️ There have been 0 deaths with Covid in Bristol in the last week (up to 23 June, within 28 days of a positive test).

The Bristol Round-up

✈️ Bristol Airport has been accused of ‘greenwashing’ after announcing it would become the first net zero airport in the UK by 2030. The airport’s net zero commitments covered the airfield, buildings and vehicle fleet, and received praise by Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees. But Mike Bell, the Deputy Leader of North Somerset Council, said: “Talk about greenwashing. Yet at the same time as this photo opp, they want to increase the number of passengers by another four million, with more cars, more parking and more planes. If they withdrew their expansion plans the rhetoric would be more convincing.”

Legal & General has agreed a £350 million development at Temple Island with a large conference centre, hotel, 550 new homes and two office buildings. The site was previously earmarked for the new Bristol Arena, before mayor Marvin Rees overruled councillors by scrapping the plans in favour of building the arena in Filton in 2018. 

 ?  Privatisation plans threaten to “rip out the heart out of Channel 4 – a much-loved broadcaster which has only just set down roots in the West of England”, Metro Mayor Dan Norris has warned. The broadcaster opened its new Creative Hub in Bristol last year. 

Bristol City Council has come under fire this week for installing 100 metal ‘anti-skate strips’ near the Cenotaph, at a cost of £15,000. Opponents argue that the thin metal strips unfairly target young people and are a hazard for people with mobility issues. Speaking on BBC Radio Bristol, Green Councillor for Central ward Ani Stafford-Townsend expressed disappointment at the decision: “We need to provide space for young people … we need to give them alternatives.”

✊  Unison is calling on Bristol City Council to ensure that care workers at Alexandra Homes receive full pay during Covid-related sickness and self-isolation. Not only is it important to avoid people being penalised if they need to self-isolate, but proper sick pay is important in stopping the spread of the virus, the union argued. 

?  The price of school meals is set to rise in six Bristol schools, some of which are in the most deprived areas in the city. The new contract that will ensure contractors can charge a ‘fair market rate’ will save the council £100,000 a year, and will affect schools that have not increased the price of meals since 2013. A report to the ruling cabinet group acknowledged the price rise was likely to have a “disproportionate impact on low-income families.” (Source: Local Democracy Reporting Service). 

 Bristol City Council has tripled the price of temporarily closing bus stops. The move aims to prevent congestion and disruption for residents during roadworks, which are currently often unauthorised or cancelled at short notice by developers. (Source: LDRS)

 ? Students in Bristol marked the UK’s fourth Windrush Day this week with artworks recording the stories of Caribbean elders, charting the contributions of West Indian communities in the city. The students presented the Windrush Generations project to local community leaders and UWE alumni. Watch three films produced as part of the project here.

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