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NEWS ROUNDUP: Calls to up vaccine efforts & thousands go hungry in Stockton


Council leader is calling for additional resources to assist in the vaccine rollout in the North East & thousands are going hungry in Stockton.

Redcar and Cleveland Council leader Mary Lanigan says more resources are needed to help with the vaccine roll-out amid record covid-19 case rates. More cases were recorded in Redcar and Cleveland and Middlesbrough between July 1 and 15 than in any single month previously.

Self isolation chaos
Rules on self isolation are crippling the Cleveland Police Force according to the chair of Cleveland Police Federation. Glen Teeley said the force front-line was “running on overtime” and close to minimum levels of staff. It’s understood the force control room and support service teams are also seeing pressures from numbers self-isolating.
From August 16, fully vaccinated people will no longer have to self-isolate if a close contact tests positive.

Instead, if you are tracked by test and trace, you will be asked if you’re fully vaccinated and then advised to take a PCR test.

Steve Turner, Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner, has written to Health Secretary Sajid Javid sharing worries about healthy officers, police staff and emergency workers being forced to self-isolate at the moment.

He wants simple daily tests to allow them to return to the front line as pressures increase.

The Conservative commissioner said: “We have a great plan to deal with that (increase in pressure) but without swift action from the Government, that could disintegrate due to the added complexity of officers and staff having to self isolate through close contact despite having had both vaccinations.”

He added swift action was “imperative” given the vaccine rollout programme’s success.

But he also sounded a warning.

Mr Turner said: “There is a very real danger that we are risking the lives and safety of our residents while we force fit and healthy emergency workers to sit at home, rather than bring forward legislation that is due to come into force anyway on August 14.”

It’s understood the force control room and support service teams are also seeing pressures from numbers self-isolating.

Mr Teeley backed the commissioner’s call given the summer was usually the busiest time officers faced with staff taking leave.

The federation chairman said: “To have fit officers at home is restricting colleagues and the public.

“To have five or six people have to self-isolate because one of their colleagues has tested positive is just crippling us – and we’re having to police it all with overtime.”

Stockton’s hunger problem
The number of people going hungry in Stockton has been branded “appalling” and an “indictment of our society”. Reports from Stockton Council have estimated 14,000 adults and 4,000 children in the borough live in homes without food security.

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