A health leader in North Yorkshire has dashed hopes that face-to-face care home visits could resume soon.
Despite all Harrogate district care home residents now being offered a covid vaccine, North Yorkshire County Council still advises visits only take place behind screens and windows or in visiting pods.
Many family members and friends have not been able to have face-to-face visits for almost a year, including Harrogate resident Judy Bass, who said it has been “horrible” not being able to visit her 99-year old father.
Position remains the same
North Yorkshire County Council‘s corporate director of health and adult services, Richard Webb said the position remained the same on care home visits, despite the success of the vaccination programme.
Speaking at a press briefing of the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum this morning, Mr Webb said there is still a risk of vaccinated people spreading the virus.
“Our position remains the same. We need to make sure we don’t have a false sense of security. The vaccine is incredibly good news, however the virus can still be caught and transmitted by people with the vaccine.
“The vaccine stops people dying and stops people needing very acute hospital treatment.”
Ms Bass told the Stray Ferret this afternoon that she expected face-to-face visits to be possible after care home staff and residents had been vaccinated.
She now thinks she might not be able to visit her dad before his 100th birthday in August.
“It’s the false hope, they just keep moving the goalposts.”
Impact on transmission
Covid case numbers in the Harrogate district have fallen since January but the impact of the vaccine on the transmission of the virus is yet to be fully understood.
Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Monday that early data suggests the vaccines are having a “really encouraging” impact on transmission, but the full data will not be published until next month.
It was revealed at this morning’s press briefing that 422,000 people in North Yorkshire, York, East Riding and the Humber have had their first vaccine. 17,000 have had their second dose.