COVID-19 weekly surveillance update

The Surveillance Update collates published national data to describe COVID-19 cases in East Sussex, how they change over time, and how this compares to other areas.

Darrell Gale Director of Public Health
Darrell Gale Director of Public Health

COVID-19 headlines for East Sussex

Updated 6th May 2021

  • Encouragingly, both in East Sussex and across the country, the number of new cases and the weekly rate of infection continues to decline.

A question often asked of me is, ‘if rates are so low and the vaccine so successful, why do we have to continue to live with social distancing, wearing masks, sitting outside in the cold to enjoy a meal with friends and family and still counting ourselves in households and maximum group numbers?’

…the low rates: I happily acknowledge that new cases this week are fewer than we reported last week, and we are in a continued phase of ‘low weekly rates’. However, ‘new’ cases mean that people are still being infected. This is in spite of:

  • all the continued rules of masks, fresh air, social distancing etc
  • the constraints still in place as part of Step 2 of the Roadmap
  • the regular testing regime for asymptomatic cases in schools and the community
  • the test and trace programme and enforced isolation period for some who have the few freedoms we have recently gained suddenly withdrawn; and
  • the very successful vaccination programme

… the successful vaccination programme: It really is a success and amazing to consider what has been achieved in such a short space of time. Sadly, no vaccine is 100% effective. The vaccine reduces the likelihood but does not eliminate the risk of you contracting COVID. The vaccine reduces the likelihood but does not eliminate the risk of you suffering severe symptoms if you do contract COVID. We cannot rule out the possibility of new more infectious variants that pose more serious health issues and/or reduce the effectiveness of our vaccination programme.

I’m still confident that we are on track for our next step on the Roadmap and I hope I have been successful in persuading you why the measures we have in place are still so important. On a lighter note, if you have been secretly knocking a decade or more from your actual age and are worried that you’ve missed the vaccination boat for your age group – you haven’t! We are now down to all those over 40 being vaccinated and if you fit that category you can register to get your jab. Remember to keep yourself and those around you safe and take a regular test even when you don’t have any symptoms.

Darrell Gale, Director of Public Health

Useful web links:

This report covers East Sussex and the District and Borough areas. You can find data at postcode level on the national website.

Sussex Health and Care partnership – Vaccination Programme

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