A message from the Lord-Lieutenant

‘Where the Isle of Wight leads, Britain will follow’. These were the words of Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care when he announced the introduction of the NHS App on the Isle of Wight.
The Isle of Wight has been asked by the government to take a hugely important role in trialling the new Tracking and Testing App. We now have testing facilities on the Isle of Wight which far exceed the availability in any other part of the country and the more of us that download the App the greater contribution we will be making to recovery for the whole nation.

More information about the App, can be found here.

The population on the Isle of Wight have risen to the challenge. Over 70,000 people have downloaded it and been able to feed back information that can help fine tune it for elsewhere. I know there have been some issues on certain phones but learning about these is part of the value we can give to the Nation.
It runs on Bluetooth and the only information it requires you to input is the first 4 letters of your postcode. It is not capable of tracking your movements because it does not record geographical location. It only records when you have been in ‘significant contact’ with someone else who has downloaded the App. If either you or that other person reports symptoms via the App (similar to a 111 call) and there is a need to ask for a test, the other phone will be contacted to request its owner makes contact. In this way we can help save lives by maybe testing a careworker who might have been infected, before they go back to work in a care-home. I would urge all of you who have not yet downloaded the App to do so. This is about protecting other people as well as helping a project that will be rolled out nationally. See attached Document.

Meanwhile, the drop in infections and the consequent easing of Lockdown offers some light at the end of the tunnel. These have been a very hard two months, particularly for the lonely and vulnerable and those with children at home. For businesses, people have seen their whole livelihood threatened, people with serious diseases have had to miss their treatment and many illnesses will have gone undiagnosed. Weddings have been cancelled and for those whose family members have died the ability to mourn at a funeral has been severely curtailed. I have a deep concern for children, particularly for those from deprived or difficult backgrounds, who will have already had no education for 3 months and some may not have seen another child during that time. For the mentally ill the lack of human contact is deeply distressing.

We must continue to follow the government guidelines on the easing of Lockdown and above all use our own judgement and common-sense. If you are vulnerable, continue to take extra care. We need to be patient while life resumes.
Our medical services, emergency services, the IOW Council, the Chamber of Commerce, transport services, care-workers and indeed all those who serve our community will be continuing to work to get us through this period.
I would urge everyone to follow the government and health services guidelines as closely as they can, which can be found by clicking here.

The community effort to support each other during this time has been amazing and it needs to continue. Many good things have emerged and I hope we can take these forward in the next months and years as we adapt to rapidly changing modes of living.