The Charter is the site of the Local Covid Vaccine Centre for patients in surgeries in the centre of Abingdon. The Malthouse Surgery says the local council are helping to expand the available space over the next few weeks.
The Malthouse and Abingdon Surgeries now work together as a Primary Care Network and the first major outcome of that network is to deliver the Covid 19 vaccine. The Malthouse Surgery say on their website … w/c 14th december we gave the vaccine to 600+ of our most vulnerable over 80s.
Surgeries will contact patients when their turn comes. They ask people ‘Please do not contact us to seek the vaccine before it is your turn, everyone who is eligible will get a vaccine.’
The NHS has produced a prioritisation list. Priority is generally by age as that is the biggest risk factor. Carers of people at risk are also prioritised. The list can be seen at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/priority-groups…
The Marcham Road Health Centre and Long Furlong may not have received vaccines yet. When Marcham Road last updated their website news section on Christmas Eve, they said ‘As soon as our delivery date is confirmed we will immediately contact eligible patients to attend.’
Matt Hancock (Health Minister) tweeted today: “We must suppress this virus to protect our NHS & save lives until the vaccine can keep us safe.”
The BBC reported today ‘Covid: UK surge in cases an ‘extreme concern’ with ‘a record number of cases for two days running.’
Statistics of Covid-19 cases for Vale of White Horse can be seen at https://phdashboard.oxfordshire.gov.uk/?view=cases&location=Vale+of+White+Horse .
Non-essential shops reopened today after the November ‘circuit breaker lockdown’ brought the ‘Covid-19’ ‘R level’ below 1. A Covid-19 vaccine was also approved by the UK regulator today.
Abingdon town centre did not go wild on what had been called ‘Wild Wednesday’, but we were able to see all the Christmas displays, illuminated, for the first time.
Here are a small sample:
Gifts and Gallery
and The Finishing Touch
Not every business could reopen today. A deep hole had been dug in Bath Street to ‘track and trace’ a gas leak. As a result Abingdon Fish & Chips and Friends Kebab & Pizza were cordoned off and no traffic was allowed to the rest of Bath Street
Our town centre underground utilities are prone to leakages. Last week Lombard Street was shut for a couple of days because of a water leak.
Abingdon library reopened today. The library has a large local studies section. Not many towns the size of Abingdon has been the subject of so many books.
The busy Abbey play area can be seen beyond this backwater. One of the last things to reopen after the first lockdown were the play parks. This time round the play parks have been kept open and at weekends look busy.
Before reaching the play area I saw a man litter picking. He is a key worker and does many hours litter picking as well as his work. He now counts the face masks he picks up. Last week he counted about 400.
A friend reported going to visit B&M on the Fairacres trading estate yesterday but then decided not to join the large queue. B&M have done very well during both lockdowns as they sell both essentials and non essentials.
Businesses have received letters telling them to prepare for the change to trading and employment rules as a result of the end of the one year transition period.
In March there was a country-wide lockdown, because of the sudden increase in Covid-19 cases. A few businesses remained open because they were considered to be essential – those selling food and groceries, or pharmacies.
This time round, in the second country-wide lockdown – because of the Covid-19 second wave, more businesses have been allowed to stay open. WH Smith, as a newsagent, have stayed open, while The Bookstore next door have had to close because they only sell books. That seems a little unfair.
Opticians are open. Hairdressers are closed. All the Charity shops are closed. Timpsons, and Lewis Baker, as hardware shops, are open. Estate Agents and banks are open. Jewellers, clothes shops, and phone shops, and shops selling Christmas gifts and decorations are closed.
As to the evening economy, takeaways are open, but pubs and restaurant and gyms are closed.
Schools and playgrounds have stayed open. Church services and gyms; the library and museum have closed. It has not counted that their hygiene and distancing were excellent.