Havering publishes Covid 19 pandemic report

Published: Monday, 8 January 2024

Havering Council have published a new report looking back on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the borough.

The report, from Havering’s Director of Public Health, gives a detailed account of how the Council worked closely with other agencies to tackle the unprecedented events which affected residents, businesses and communities across the borough.

In a timeline spanning the start of the pandemic in March 2020 through to March 2022, Mark Ansell, the Director of Public Health, gives a chronology of how events unfolded.

As the virus spread, it highlights the challenges presented as situations emerged and rapidly changed on a daily basis. 

Staff also speak of the issues they faced, their emotions and how they rallied together to see through the new, and sometimes unexpected, tasks they faced.

The pandemic reached way beyond the obvious public health impacts. It touched every area of the Council and the community from bin collections to job and from school life to shops and businesses.

The Council, in partnership with other local organisations, worked to keep residents safe by offering testing kits, securing PPE (personal protective equipment), visiting people who were self-isolating and arranging delivery of food parcels to the most vulnerable.

In the midst of it, hundreds of volunteers rose up to help their community and demonstrated their fighting, community spirit.

Mark Ansell, Havering’s Director of Public Health said:

“The pandemic demonstrated the strength of our public services and that even more can be achieved when we work with an amazing army of local volunteers. 

“By pulling together we were able to support residents in their time of need and make a huge difference.

“We have learned many lessons which we will need to apply as we look to tackle the equally big challenges we now face including growing mental health issues, the cost of living crisis and rising rates of obesity in our borough.”

"This trial proved that our services helped proportionally more residents to isolate and therefore were more effective in limiting the spread of infection. 

“If we continue to work with residents and apply the same innovative approaches, we can be confident that we will be able to improve the health of residents and reduce existing inequalities.”   

Read the public health annual report for 2020-22