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18 May 2022

“Take care of yourselves, others and support the NHS” says County Council Public Health

An acting Public Health Consultant at Cumbria County Council is urging residents to “take care of themselves and others and support the NHS” as we learn to live with COVID-19.

In February 2022, the government removed all remaining legal restrictions in England that were previously introduced to tackle the spread of the virus as the success of the vaccine rollout began to take effect.

However, COVID-19 hasn’t gone away - with 98 people admitted to hospital in Cumbria during the last seven days as well as 12 deaths during the same period.

Vicky Hepworth-Putt, Acting Consultant in Public Health for Cumbria County Council, said: “I know the last two years have been difficult for everyone and for many it’s a relief to have restrictions removed so they can get on with their lives as normal.

“However, not everyone feels that way. Understandably, many people who are at risk of becoming seriously ill if they catch COVID-19 are worried about what might happen to them if they become infected.

“It’s really important we all work together to take care of ourselves and others, and support the NHS. You can do this by wearing face coverings in enclosed areas, letting fresh air in if you’re meeting others or by meeting outside (especially now the weather is improving) and staying at home if you develop respiratory symptoms.”

Wearing a face covering may not be legally required in public spaces anymore, but this does not apply when visiting NHS hospitals and clinics.

“It’s important to remember that NHS staff cannot work if they have respiratory symptoms, that’s why visitors to NHS premises are still required to wear a face mask unless they are medically exempt.”

Furthermore, more than 50,000 eligible people in Cumbria also remain unvaccinated against COVID-19 according to the latest available data.

Of those people who are unvaccinated, most are young people between age 20-40s, particularly younger men.  The vaccination rate in young people aged 12-15 is lower still (63.2%) but better than England’s average (53.9%).

Mrs Hepworth-Putt added: “It’s also not too late to get vaccinated against COVID-19 if you haven’t already.

“COVID-19 vaccines have enabled the gradual and safe removal of restrictions on everyday life over the past year and remain the most effective weapon in our armoury against this disease.

“The COVID-19 vaccines approved in the UK are effective at preventing infection, symptomatic disease, hospitalisation and death - particularly after having all the recommended doses.”

The following groups of people are now eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccines:

  • Everyone aged 5 and over can get a 1st and 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • People aged 16 and over, and some children aged 12 to 15, can also get a booster dose.
  • People aged 12 and over who had a severely weakened immune system when they had their first 2 doses, will be offered a 3rd dose and a booster (4th dose).
  • People aged 75 and over, people who live in care homes for older people, and people aged 12 and over who have a weakened immune system, will be offered a spring booster.

To book your 1st, 2nd or booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, visit the NHS website.


Vicky Hepworth-Putt, Acting Public Health Consultant at Cumbria County Council may be available for interview. To enquire, please email media@cumbria.gov.uk


An acting Public Health Consultant at Cumbria County Council is urging residents to “take care of themselves and others and support the NHS” as we learn to live with COVID-19.