‘PARTY POOPER’ NHS BOSS WARNS OF COVID CASE INCREASE AFTER FESTIVAL

The Island’s top NHS boss has said she feels like a ‘party pooper’ for the Isle of Wight Festival but has warned of the expected increase of COVID cases on the already stretched health services.

Having seen a summer surge of cases, pushing the Isle of Wight NHS Trust into dealing with a third wave of the pandemic, chief executive Maggie Oldham has said the services are nervously anticipating a further surge following the Isle of Wight Festival, which is set to take place next week.

Events that have already taken place this summer have seen a fallout of cases in the weeks following, with cornish music festival Boardmasters linked to 4,700 new cases.

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With the influx of tourists to the Island, more mixing of people and the relaxation of protective restrictions, COVID cases on the Island have soared — with some new days recording more than 100 new cases. However, cases don’t necessarily mean hospitalisations or deaths, with 1 in 3 people not even displaying symptoms.

Government figures show between the last week of July and 1st September, 2,289 COVID cases were recorded on the Island — nearly a fifth of the Island’s entire cases since the pandemic began.

Speaking at the Isle of Wight NHS Trust Board today (Thursday), Ms Oldham said:

“It really makes me sad when I am out on the Island to see absolute apathy for wearing masks, social distancing and hand hygiene.

“Please, everybody, do not be apathetic, Covid has not gone away.

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“I urge anyone who is out and about to follow government guidelines. We all have a part to play in trying to keep our hospital pressures at a lower level than we are currently seeing them.”

Expanding on some of the COVID risks the hospital is facing, chief operative officer Joe Smyth, said 20% of the acute beds are now occupied by a COVID positive patient and a second intensive care unit has had to open, which is already ‘very, very full’. Earlier this week the NHS refused to comment on how many of those in hospital were unvaccinated.

Director of communications at the trust, Kirk Millis-Ward said it was being recognised nationally that messaging around measures to keep ourselves safe was not cutting through to the public in a way it had earlier in the pandemic but the public messaging before the festival will be stepped up, working with other public organisations, and strengthened.

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With up to 50,000 people anticipated to attend the festival, organisers behind the event say it is taking precautions to ensure it goes ahead COVID safe.

A spokesperson for the festival said:

“The Isle of Wight Festival is working closely with all relevant authorities and Public Health England to take the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe on-site and in the island community.

“The event’s COVID-19 guidelines are on the official website and all ticket holders must adhere to these to gain entry to the Festival.

“The Isle of Wight Festival is also operating under tight COVID testing controls during the site build.”

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
48 Comments
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Bewildered
Bewildered
10 days ago

This is a certainty, but who is going to pay insurance to any…??? Who has insured the use of this sigh and the ‘guests’.. >?

Mark
Mark
Reply to  Bewildered
10 days ago

Who needs to be paid insurance money?

Bewildered
Bewildered
10 days ago

Update, Site, nit sigh, sorry…

Islander born & bred
Islander born & bred
Reply to  Bewildered
9 days ago

The lack of an editing facility here now causes so many problems to so many of us. No explanation whatsoever for why they took it away. It used to be so nice here. Easy to post comments, now so many restrictions, just a hassle, I swear it’s been done to put people off from posting.

Ting tong from tooting
Ting tong from tooting
Reply to  Darren Toogood
9 days ago

What have you done with MC hammer ! Why is he not allowed to post on here no more ?

Islander born & bred
Islander born & bred
Reply to  Ting tong from tooting
8 days ago

Who says he’s not?

Islander born & bred
Islander born & bred
Reply to  Darren Toogood
8 days ago

As I suspected, but, some comments go straight in, and some, usually most of mine, always say Awaiting moderation. I never noticed any problem here before when it was possible to edit posts to put right mistakes. It can’t be that difficult to leave the editing facility for posts that are still awaiting moderation. As it stands now, it is not ideal. It never caused a problem before so why all the changes recently?

Only Me
Only Me
10 days ago

Not a “party pooper” – she’s being very realistic.

Joe Blogs
Joe Blogs
10 days ago

It is an utter disgrace that our council, who claim they want to protect us from Covid, has allowed this festival to take place this year. The organisors should be ashamed of themselves. Money, Money, Money, to hell with the rest of us.

Sam
Sam
Reply to  Joe Blogs
5 days ago

But our Government have lifted all restrictions? So whats the problem? If we’re not meant to be running events then the Government needs to make that clear and provide a lifeline for the many thousands of small businesses and freelancers that work these events. Throughout the entire pandemic the events industry has been left to rot, and despite many peoples unfounded claims that the festival only support the big players – you would be surprised the number of small production companies that rely on these events. Maybe we should ban people from going to the shops again? Or maybe worship? Whats your solution here?

Bonny
Bonny
10 days ago

Money speaks louder than words. As always. Should’ve not been allowed to go ahead.
Hopefully visiters will be back home if they come down with it, and bung up their own hospitals, not ours.
If the worse happens, at least Mr Giddings will be known for more than just his muddy fields and Island grid lock carbuncle.

Mark
Mark
Reply to  Bonny
10 days ago

Live Nation, not Giddings

Arthur Reeder
Arthur Reeder
Reply to  Bonny
10 days ago

Wow, I thought I was the only one to remember the sea of mud and disruption that was blamed on everyone except the organisers?
Has there ever actually been an apology for that debacle?

Sam
Sam
Reply to  Arthur Reeder
5 days ago

Yes… google John Giddings apology unless thats too trying for you?

https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/isle-wight-festival-music-harsh-weather-355949

Sir Digby Chicken Caesar
Sir Digby Chicken Caesar
10 days ago

Of course it will increase cases, as always it’s the greed of Giddings that will fuel the rise on the island, and deaths will increase too.

Mark
Mark
Reply to  Sir Digby Chicken Caesar
10 days ago

Live Nation, not Giddings

Miss sensible
Miss sensible
Reply to  Mark
9 days ago

He owns Solo music in London…..
And is heavily involved so will still make a fat wad ….
Remember what he said the Festival will go ahead ….
Over his dead body….
Selfish to the end !!!!!!

Maggie Oldham is RIGHT
Maggie Oldham is RIGHT
10 days ago

People need to LISTEN to this NHS boss .
The Festival Organisers need to adhere to their published statements and not just pay lip service.
The festival crowd increases the Island population by a third over the weekend. I am not against the Festival but there needs to be independent monitoring of adherence to the stated protocols.
The threat of increased infection rates affects not only the Island, but the all the home areas of the festival goers afterwards .Mask wearing is a no brainier and should be requested by the organisers.

JohnR
JohnR
10 days ago

Not a ‘Party Pooper’ at all just being realistic with a few valid comments, look at the remnants from, The Boardmasters, Latitude Festival and all the positive tests found thrown down outside the Reading Festival.

Mark
Mark
10 days ago

Why did no-one make the same complaints about Cowes Week, Jack Up, Havenstreet Railway Bank Holiday event, Scooters etc. Why pick on the festival?

Isla White
Isla White
Reply to  Mark
9 days ago

Less idiots at those kind of events mate

Sam
Sam
Reply to  Isla White
5 days ago

More old people more like.

Paul
Paul
10 days ago

I don’t for a minute believe that all festival goers will have there COVID tests checked. As soon as the queues start they will just be let in.

Sam
Sam
Reply to  Paul
5 days ago

You know this for a fact? Even before the event? Wow you must share some more insights of your crystal ball Paul.

Tony
Tony
10 days ago

Good glad it’s going ahead, no I am not attending. It was alright for the Euros to go head when we were still under restrictions. Best get used to it, probably still be around year.

Miss sensible
Miss sensible
10 days ago

All ticket holders must adhere to the Covid guidelines!!!!!.
Good luck with that , someone wrote about Reading Festival that a friend of his tested positive but got his friends test which was negative!!!!!!. And in he went !!!!!
And after several drinks / drug’s who knows what will happen????

Ben
Ben
10 days ago

It’s a festival so what looks at all the football matches going on around the world look how many supporters go to them games don’t hear anyone moaning about that

Me me
Me me
10 days ago

Sorry but don’t think it will increase any more than the influx of holiday makers have already increase the rate .people are alowed in with two vaccines or a covid test thats more than anyone coming in the holiday season .so stop condemning the festival

Bert
Bert
10 days ago

Surely should have been cancelled, along with walk the Wight, will will suffer on the island when the Death rate soars next month,

Trueblue
Trueblue
Reply to  Bert
9 days ago

Hysterical Covidmaniac! Cancel everything!!!! We are doomed

Bird table
Bird table
Reply to  Trueblue
5 days ago

Complacency kills, usually.

JohnR
JohnR
10 days ago

Not a Party Pooper at all, just being realistic and thinking of others, look at the fall out from The Boardmasters, Latitude and other events, Cowes Week alone affected all the surrounding area, with many catching Covid. The problems that could arise after this are endless, Ferry workers, shop workers and anyone else that may not even go to the festival, maybe just travelling on the ferry.

Cupid stunt
Cupid stunt
10 days ago

Maybe the council could change everybody getting off the ferry £1-50 each and give the money to stmarys

Sir Digby Chicken Caesar
Sir Digby Chicken Caesar
10 days ago

Giddings greed wins out over the local population again. Traffic chaos, drugged up idiots needing the hospital, I sense brown envelopes have been handed out the the proper people who allowed this to go ahead, cases are rising as are deaths, but still Giddings arrogance shines through. Desperate concert goers, desperate cash cows and desperate old has beens on the stage. Enough said.

what the fcuk
what the fcuk
9 days ago

Don’t worry we will all be enjoying another LOCK DOWN in October when the cases rise again, the hospital wont be able to cope and will see an increase in Covid related death’s.
All for a Festival for Live Nation AND GIDDINGS to make money, thanks guys be proud of looking after us…….Twats

Trueblue
Trueblue
Reply to  what the fcuk
9 days ago

You’ve had your ‘life saving’ jab… Twat

aware
aware
Reply to  Trueblue
9 days ago

Not everyone can have the vaccines, you selfish moron.

Paul
Paul
9 days ago

Meanwhile people are going to football matches with 50,000 crowds sat shoulder to shoulder, no Covid tests, no Vaccination checks!! At least at the festival they will be checking proof of Vaccination/test results. Also 50,000 people spread over the vast festival site seems a lot safer than packed into a stadium shoulder to shoulder.

Sunshine
Sunshine
9 days ago

You are not a party pooper at all. It’s utter madness the festival is going ahead. We are a tiny island with only 1 hospital. 50,000 people invading it and bringing COVID here is not what the majority of residents want. Disgusting that masks have been made optional whilst out in public. Another BIG mistake!!!! Watch this space.

isle of wighter
isle of wighter
Reply to  Sunshine
8 days ago

sunshine – you aren’t the brightest are you.

all festival goers, will be here for a few days and then gone again- they won’t be going anywhere near St Mary’s unless the OD or get too drunk.

The island was packed everyday with tourists for the whole month of august – they have all gone now and for a few days, it will be the festival goers.

stop whining and stay indoors if you are so worried – the rest of us shouldn’t need to have our lives curtailed to pacify the whiners and panicky tin foil hat wearers and bed wetters.

Trueblue
Trueblue
Reply to  isle of wighter
8 days ago

All of these idiots never wanted the festival here before covid! SO glad it’s happening, bring it on.

Steve
Steve
5 days ago

The moaners won’t be going to the festival anyway, they’d be more at risk going to a supermarket.

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