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WATCH: 'Staying at home is the best way to save lives'

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WITH no evidence of widespread community seeding, it is believed that by remaining in lockdown conditions and staying at home, health infrastructure, which includes frontline nurses, doctors and health and social care workers, will not be overwhelmed.

Director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink said for now, staying at home is the best way to stay safe and save lives.

'We now have our on-island testing capability up and running, which is a huge step and radically improves our ability to gather data and know what's happening in the Bailiwick,' she said.

Picture by Sophie Rabey. 07-04-20. Press Conference at Beau Sejour regarding Coronavirus. Conference panel L-R Chief Executive Paul Whitfield, Health & Social Care president Heidi Soulsby, Deputy Gavin St Pier, Director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink, HSC medical director Dr Peter Rabey.. (27913893)

'But while the number of tests we do each day has already increased, and we're getting results faster, we haven't had it in place long enough to gather the data that would give me confidence to relax the lockdown restrictions significantly.'

She said there were now three care homes in the island with confirmed cases of Covid-19.

'The clusters we've identified in certain care homes in the island has meant a lot of new testing capacity has been concentrated on these areas.

'We still need more time to get a real sense of what's happening more widely in the island.'

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Guernsey's most senior politician Deputy Gavin St Pier added that the lockdown was subject to some changes, including the resumption of home deliveries from businesses, excluding takeaways, made by phone and online, which are thought to be beneficial to the mental health and wellbeing of individuals, assist home-working and support the economy.

'Some will think we need to move more quickly, some will think we need to move more slowly, some will be frustrated, some will be nervous, some will think that a particular activity or sector should be unlocked, while others will think the opposite,' he said.

'I'm under no illusions how difficult this phase will be and how it will itself place stress on the community, it may even make the decision to go into lockdown look easy.

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'I've said several times we may make mistakes with this, we may move a few days early or a few days late, but please never doubt our intent to make the best possible judgements we can, these are very difficult decisions which we will continue to make based on evidence, they will be proportionate and they will be designed for the Bailiwick's needs.'

Decisions on the schools will be made next week.

Of the 1,174 samples tested, there have so far been 166 positive results and 973 negative results, with 35 still awaiting their results back.

Four people have died and 34 people have recovered.

Danielle Kenneally

By Danielle Kenneally
News reporter

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