A third wave of COVID-19 could hit the Isle of Wight this summer, we are being warned.
In a meeting of the Isle of Wight Council’s health and wellbeing board, the Island’s director of public health, Simon Bryant, said they were preparing for any eventualities that may occur as society opens up following lockdown.
He said looking at the modelling – not what they know is going to happen – it is possible there could be some kind of third coronavirus wave in the summer.
While it may not be on the same scale as the second wave, which saw cases rocket on the Isle of Wight almost overnight, Mr Bryant said as everything opens we are going to see more cases.
With the government’s final stage of the roadmap out of lockdown set for June 21, essentially getting things back to a pre-Covid state, there are hopes of a somewhat normal summer with visitors boosting the Island’s economy.
Public officials have asked those thinking about coming to the Island to take all the appropriate measures to protect the Island and its community, including potentially getting a COVID test before travelling. Mr Bryant, however, said they are looking at the data to understand how the spread of infection is happening but urged people to still follow social distancing measures.
The potential increase in cases is also being attributed to the increased level of testing currently happening. At the start of the pandemic, only people who ended up in hospital were being tested for the virus, later expanding to anyone with symptoms, but now a new testing regime has been implemented which allows asymptomatic tests for various parts of the community.
In the last few weeks school pupils and their parental bubbles have been offered the tests as well as those going out to work regularly.
Mr Bryant said picking up those asymptomatic cases may not be a bad thing, despite a recorded case increase, as it is breaking the chain of infection and finding a case that would have not have been picked up previously.
The impact of the COVID vaccine rollout is also being felt, according to Mr Bryant, as case numbers fall, particularly in the older age groups who have been vaccinated.