East Riding health chief’s coronavirus-cost of living ‘perfect storm’ warning
He also told councillors the cost of living crisis could make it harder to reach the most vulnerable, leaving them exposed if more health and care staff go off work during winter.
It comes as there were 278 coronavirus cases recorded in the East Riding in the seven days up to Saturday, September 24, up by 45.5 per cent on the previous week.
The infection rate rose from 55.7 to 81 during the same period.
It also comes as the council has launched a Long Covid service at leisure centres, with teachers, carers and other key staff prioritised to get them back to work.
Mr Kingdom said the East Riding’s low case numbers compared to other areas meant the was more time to give more people the autumn vaccine booster currently being rolled out.
But he added the new wave could come at the same time as flu cases rise with the onset of winter.
The director said: “The wave we were expecting is here, it’s small at the moment but it’s here. We’re not seeing large numbers of people in hospital yet, they’re in the 30s at the moment and deaths aren’t up yet either which shows the vaccine’s working, but there is a lag in the figures.”
Mr Kingdom said the symptoms of coronavirus had changed slightly, with diarrhoea and high temperatures showing up in more cases of people who catch it.
He added anyone with a high temperature should stay at home.
Mr Kingdom also said he hoped the worst case scenario of rising coronavirus cases coinciding with seasonal flu could be avoided.
He said people eligible for the autumn booster should get it without delay. He added everyone else should consider mask wearing and distancing when in public during the winter.
He added: “There’s different versions of the vaccine now which are all very good.
“There’s one that is a mixture of the original strain and Omicron which were using, but even people who had the original vaccine will be protected from serious illness.
“This isn’t a new virus anymore, 99 per cent of people have either had it or have had the vaccine, our bodies know how to deal with it.
“People should also consider doing the basic stuff we’ve been doing for the last two years, like keeping a mask in their pockets when in crowded spaces.”