Published Thursday, 4th March 2021
Sutton Scene Column from the Cllr Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council
Many thanks to everyone who took part in the two live Q&A sessions about the pandemic that I chaired recently with Dr Imran Choudhury, Director of Public Health in Sutton and Dr Dino Pardhanani, GP and Sutton GP Clinical Chair. We were able to answer many of your questions and concerns. We have posted all the answers on the Council website.
I'm delighted that the infection rates are coming down all over London including in Sutton, and hospital admissions, while still high, are becoming more manageable. But we still need to follow the rules and take all the necessary precautions. Over 50,000 Sutton residents have received their first vaccination dose and elderly residents are now beginning to receive an invitation for their second dose. It's good to see that an increasing number of GP clinics are now offering the vaccination as they're more accessible for many people. But the message from GPs, nurses and hospital doctors is clear - the situation is getting better but there is still a long way to go, and we need to follow the guidelines and comply with the restrictions if we want to finally put this terrible pandemic behind us.
Our schools will be opening up to all students on Monday. I'm sure many of them can't wait to get back in the classroom, meet up with their friends again and be able to study in more normal conditions. I know from speaking to parents that they are equally keen! Home schooling has been an interesting experience for many and as a school governor, I've seen messages from parents with a new-found respect for the work that our teachers and school staff do every day to provide stimulating learning and an interesting curriculum for our children. Teachers have told me how difficult it has been to teach remotely while still providing lessons to the pupils who have continued to attend their school. The face-to-face teaching under Covid restrictions will present new challenges and we are deeply grateful to all of our schools for the huge amount of preparation that has been needed to get them ready to open the school gates on Monday. Please do all you can to support your child's school by following social distancing rules if you are dropping off or picking them up and follow the school's guidance about masks in secondary schools and testing.
The Prime Minister has laid out the road map for the next few months and let's hope - as the days get longer, the sun starts shining and more and more of us receive our vaccine jabs - that we can start to meet up with family and friends again, open up our shops and businesses and get the economy going again. We've done so much to get this far. Now's not the time to lower our guard.