Disquiet concerns me, says Dr Brink, but it's a balancing act

A TOTAL of 26 people are in self-isolation after contact with positive Covid cases, but there is no evidence of community seeding.

Director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink talking to Guernsey Press news editor Juliet Pouteaux about the difficult balancing act between people who have to isolate if contacts of positive Covid cases and the freedom of people to connect with families again. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 29746176)
Director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink talking to Guernsey Press news editor Juliet Pouteaux about the difficult balancing act between people who have to isolate if contacts of positive Covid cases and the freedom of people to connect with families again. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 29746176)

There have been 33 cases in the island since the end of the second wave, of which 17 are active.

These are predominantly arriving travellers, but they have had a wider impact.

This has caused great anger for some, with islanders being forced to isolate and some unable to work.

Director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink said she appreciated the difficult situation.

‘Any disquiet concerns me,’ she said.

‘But we have to balance that against the people who are really pleased to have connectivity with family. It’s all about balancing.

‘Going into lockdown is easy, but forward is really complex. We are continually balancing protecting against the virus that causes Covid-19 against people’s wider health and well-being.’

Not all contacts need to isolate. Fully vaccinated islanders are very unlikely to need to isolate if contact traced, but there are other considerations as well.

‘It is important we look at a criteria,’ she said.

This included issues like someone being in close contact with a positive case for 15 minutes or having contact with dirty matter like used tissues.

‘So not everyone who has had contact with a positive case would necessarily need to self-isolate.

‘It will be a tight number,’ Dr Brink said.

She was confident that Guernsey’s current rules would protect islanders. That included travel restrictions for unvaccinated adults and surveillance testing for the community.

Last month 8,700 surveillance tests were carried out, which were a mixture of lateral flow and PCR tests. There are also tests kept on hand to do surge testing, if required.

In recent days there have been a number of people presenting with cold symptoms – runny nose, headache and sore throat – and this is how the Delta variant can present in young people.

On Wednesday there were 150 tests of symptomatic people, all of which were negative for Covid.

Dr Brink said they had done a lot of symptomatic testing, which an important part of detecting issues.

Overall she said things were going well.

‘We have to be vigilant,’ she said.

‘We can’t be complacent.’

. It is planned that details of the number of people in self-isolation will be published in the daily updates shortly.

. A press conference is due to take place today at 1pm.

Resignation rumours are untrue, says Dr Brink

DIRECTOR of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink has quashed rumours that she is resigning from her post.

Rumours have been spreading on social media that Dr Brink, who has been an important figurehead for Guernsey’s Covid response, was stepping down.

She said that as someone in the public eye, it was inevitable that there would be rumours like this.

‘But I’m categorically going nowhere,’ she said.

‘I love living in Guernsey and working in Guernsey.’

She said everyone had been very supportive of her during the pandemic and that had been important to her when making difficult decisions.

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