Leicestershire's director of public health, Mike Sandys, has written an open letter to the residents of Oadby and Wigston this week, thanking them for their efforts in bringing down the number of COVID cases by about a third.
He also pays tribute to people in the district for their ‘continued efforts, personal sacrifices and determination to stop COVID in its tracks’.
He ends his heartfelt message with a plea to the community to keep doing what they can to stop the virus spreading.
It's clear that the national lockdown, combined with our local testing centres - for those with symptoms, and those without - is helping.
I know it's been hard to stick to the rules. But it's the simple measures: staying at home if you can, washing your hands, covering your face and allowing space, which is really making a differencePerson:Mike Sandys, director of public health, Leicestershire County Council
The public health director’s letter also outlines the work done by the county council, reaching out across Oadby & Wigston during last summer with a leaflet drop to every household and extensive local advertising appearing across the district
Mr Sandys tells residents: “That worked because you stopped to take notice. When we opened test centres in your neighbourhood (see picture), you turned up, you also self-isolated and did the right thing.
“At one point - there were more people getting tested for COVID in Oadby and Wigston than anywhere else in the country - and it helped to flush out cases and drive down numbers.”
However, he also acknowledges that the gradual easing of restrictions and the ‘relentless’ nature of COVID saw the virus spread again and, until now, infection rates in the district remained ‘persistently high’ as with other areas such as Leicester city and Sandwell.
But, over the past few days, a more optimistic picture has emerged.
He said: “This week, we've seen those numbers drop by about a third. It's clear that the national lockdown, combined with our local testing approach is starting to work against the new, more infectious, variant of the virus, and those high numbers of cases within the community.
“Thank you for sticking with it. For your families, friends and neighbours. Please continue to do the right thing, so that we don’t see numbers creep up again. Act like you’ve got it.”