Leader statement: We need to act now to prevent Covid-19 outbreak

"We need to act now to prevent a Covid-19 outbreak – but we are here to help" is the message from Camden Council Leader Georgia Gould, who has tonight given the following statement:

Councillor Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council
Coronavirus cases are rising across Camden and London which means we are all at a higher risk of catching the disease. As it becomes more and more likely that new measures will be put in place to slow the spread, I want to reassure residents of Camden that we are here to support you.

In recent days I have been involved in emergency meetings with the Mayor of London, cross-party London leaders and public health experts and we are clear that we should move fast to contain the virus to prevent a dangerous outbreak. We will be asking the Government to support our London plan to slow the spread of the virus to avoid a London lockdown, and tomorrow morning the Mayor of London will be discussing this with the Prime Minister.   

Cases are rising in our city but a lack of access to testing means we don’t have a clear picture of the situation right now. Thankfully, cases in Camden seem to be at the lower end of the scale but we are of course very much part of an interconnected city and rising cases around London will impact us all. I’m convinced that lessons must be learned from six months ago and fast action should be taken to restrain the virus.

However, I firmly believe that any measures to stop the rise in cases must start from a position of encouragement and support. Camden residents have made huge personal sacrifices over the last six months to keep each other safe. I’m pressing the government to adopt a more supportive approach to encourage and inspire its citizens to follow the guidelines to reduce the spread of infection and get through these tough times.

We in local government have said all along that we stand ready to support the Government's testing regime locally - this offer still stands. An efficient, properly functioning Test and Trace system is our best chance of getting back to some sort of normality, safeguarding our economy, of keeping each other safe and saving lives.

Right now we are putting additional support in place to protect our most vulnerable residents and specific measures to support residents and staff in care homes across Camden. We’re also working with Great Ormond Street Hospital who are helping us to increase available Covid-19 testing for our teachers. And we are rapidly looking into how we can provide temporary respite accommodation for people living in overcrowded conditions who can’t safely self-isolate without passing it on to family members.

We need your support too - if you develop symptoms, it is absolutely vital that you self-isolate and get tested. Anyone you live with must also self-isolate for 14 days, or until you get a negative test result. If you are struggling to get a test, please keep trying but if you can’t get tested, you must self-isolate for the full 10 days and everyone you live with must self-isolate for 14 days.

We need to keep regularly washing our hands, stay 2 metres away from people we don’t live with and wear a face covering in all of the recommended places. Please follow the ‘rule of six’ guidance too which means socialising in groups of no more than six people, indoors or outdoors.

If cases continue to rise, we may need to move fast to reduce transmission and help protect our community. I want to assure you that if we need to take additional action we will always explain clearly what we are doing and why we are doing it. We will always give you the help you need. 

If you need help to self-isolate, together with our voluntary and community sector partners, we are ready to support you. You might need help accessing food or medicine, support with your job and work needs, or help with your children’s education and caring responsibilities. Whatever it is, please call us on 020 7974 4444 (option 9). You can also find information about the wide range of support we offer at www.camden.gov.uk/coronavirus
Councillor Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council