COVID-19 update for church risk management 05-11-2021

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Here’s the latest COVID-19 data to assist with decision making and risk assessment. We are now coming up to the end of the first week back from the main half-term break. I have said previously that it is possible that we might see some uptick in cases as school LFT mass testing resumes. So far that doesn’t seem to be happening as the reported cases chart shows

We have now seen 12 days of consistently falling cases.

Now, I expect that it is possible that we may see some case increases in the next week or two due to greater mixing among under 16s. However, there is a strong possibility that this age group reached it’s Herd Immunity Threshold (HIT) in mid October. If that is so, then this combined with the impact of booster jabs in the elderly and vulnerable means we are just as likely to see cases continuing to fall and that the rate of decrease may even pick up substantially.

It is worth comparing case numbers across the United Kingdom.

The interesting point there is that Wales and Scotland still have some mitigations in place, specifically the requirement to wear facemasks. What this suggests is that taken as a measure on their own at this stage in the pandemic (as opposed to being part of a package of measures earlier in the pandemic) that there isn’t clear and dramatic evidence that facemasks now are making a significant difference in terms of the experience between the different nations. This might help churches that have been up until now cautious about lifting the requirement to wear facemasks to review that decision.

Here’s the hospital admissions picture

Meanwhile mortality data looks as follows

Based on current case rates, trends and ratios we may expect hospital admissions to peak at ~1200 hospitalisations within the next few days before beginning to fall again.

Admissions projected 10 days forward from cases.

Meanwhile with regards to mortality, I would expect deaths per day to peak at just over 200 by around about the 20th November falling back to 170 per day in early December.

I think that things look encouraging as we move towards Christmas. We can be optimistic about running Christmas outreach events in an environment beginning to look close to normal. As I’ve said a few times before, I would still be looking not to “cram people in” to Christmas events. So:

  1. Don’t advertise on the basis that your carols by candlelight service is usually “packed”
  2. Instead put on extra services to create extra capacity.

Do continue to keep risk plans up to date and to monitor things.

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