Monday, 5 July 2021

The Duchess of Cambridge Isolating After Close Covid Contact

In their roles as joint patrons of NHS Charities Together, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were due to mark the 73rd birthday of the NHS by attending a Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral this morning. Instead, Prince William arrived solo because Kate is self-isolating after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19. Though today's engagements were announced for both William and Kate last night, the Duchess was reportedly informed she was a close contact Friday afternoon and has been following advice and guidelines since then.

A Palace spokesperson said:

'Last week The Duchess of Cambridge came into contact with someone who has subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. Her Royal Highness is not experiencing any symptoms, but is following all relevant government guidelines and is self-isolating at home.'

Sky News reports it's likely the Duchess will miss the Wimbledon finals this weekend:

'She was later due to host a tea at Buckingham Palace following the event but she will now have to isolate at home for 10 days.

Kate's last public event was a visit to Wimbledon on Friday when she met staff at the All England Club's museum, Centre Court kitchen and sat with former tennis star Tim Henman to watch Jamie Murray play in the doubles.

The duchess is patron of the All England Lawn Tennis Club and a keen tennis fan but is now likely to miss the men's and women's final at the weekend.'

It's very sad news indeed. I know we all hope the Duchess sails through her isolation period without symptoms. Kate had both doses of the vaccine and follows the royal households testing regime and takes lateral flow tests regularly.

(As the event is central to the work of NHS Charities Together and an important day for the NHS, I've opted to cover it.)

Prince William arriving.

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NHS staff who battled the pandemic on the front lines were "at the heart" of the special service of commemoration and thanksgiving. Guests included Dr Ashley Price who treated some of the first patients with COVID-19 and May Parson who administered the first vaccine outside of trial phase. Rheumatology consultant Dr Perpetual Uke, who gave birth to twins whilst in a coma with the virus, participated in the socially distanced event.

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Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, Saïd Professorship of Vaccinology at the Jenner Institute, who designed the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine, was another notable attendee. Those following Wimbledon (as closely as yours truly) will have been moved by the ovation Gilbert was given at Wimbledon last week.

NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens said, “The NHS’s anniversary follows a uniquely challenging year for the health service and for the country. Twelve months ago, we all hoped the worst of coronavirus was behind us, but instead amazing NHS staff had to contend with a winter wave of infections even greater than the first. They rose to the challenge, not just providing care to coronavirus and other patients but, supported by volunteers and countless others, have also delivered the NHS COVID Vaccine programme with unrivalled speed and precision. This service is an opportunity for the whole country to reflect on the toll the virus has taken since the start of the pandemic and give thanks to the nurses, doctors, therapists, paramedics and countless other NHS staff, other key workers and everyone else including all those members of the public who played their full part."

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An overview of the service.

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The Right Reverend and Right Honourable Dame Sarah Mullally, Bishop of London, said:


'“In the last year we have felt the loss of connectivity to those we love. We have been forced to distance ourselves physically, unable to reach out to family and friends with whom hugs, a hand reached out in care, an arm around a shoulder, would in other times convey love, closeness, compassion and care.

“The NHS is a demonstration of community and of solidarity in society, between generations, between rich and poor – and between people of diverse cultures and ethnic heritage.

“Through the generations, healthcare professionals from more than 200 nationalities have contributed to its workforce. This solidarity – of generations, of rich and poor and of people from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds, is needed not just for a well-functioning society but to enable all human beings to flourish”.

People from all faiths and none have been invited and will attend, including Imam Yunus Dudhwala, Head of Chaplaincy at Barts Health NHS Trust, and representatives of humanist groups.

July 5 marks the 73rd anniversary of the foundation of the National Health Service. The NHS has provided hospital treatment for around 400,000 seriously ill COVID-19 patients, including 100,000 in January alone, since the start of the pandemic. The NHS COVID-19 Vaccine programme, the biggest in health service history, was launched in the teeth of the coronavirus winter wave.

Since the NHS made history by giving Maggie Keenan the first Pfizer vaccination in December, the programme has delivered more than 63 million jabs, saving 14,000 lives and preventing 44,500 hospital admissions in England.'
St Paul's Cathedral is one of the most famous and recognisable sights of London, with its dome framed by the spires of Wren's City churches, dominating the skyline for 300 years. At 365 feet (111 m) high, it was the tallest building in London from 1710 to 1962, and its dome is also among the highest in the world. In terms of area, St Paul's is the second largest church building in the United Kingdom after Liverpool Cathedral.


Notably for royal fans, Charles and Diana were married there in 1981.


In terms of historical significance, the iconic 'St Paul's Survives' taken during the Blitz in 1940 remains an enduring image from WWII.


It coincides with news Her Majesty has awarded the George Cross to the National Health Service following an unprecedented year when NHS staff across the board went above and beyond, often at great personal sacrifice. A note with "enduring thanks" and "heartfelt appreciation" from the Queen read: "It is with great pleasure, on behalf of a grateful nation, that I award the George Cross to the National Health Services of the United Kingdom. This award recognises all NHS staff, past and present, across all disciplines and all four nations. Over more than seven decades, and especially in recent times, you have supported the people of our country with courage, compassion and dedication, demonstrating the highest standards of public service."

The BBC reports:

'The George Cross, instituted by King George VI in 1940 during the height of the Blitz in World War Two, is awarded for "acts of the greatest heroism or of the most courage in circumstances of extreme danger".

The awarding of the George Cross by the Queen is made on the advice of the George Cross Committee and the prime minister. This latest award is only the third time the George Cross has been given to a collective body, country or organisation, rather than an individual.

Sir Simon Stevens (NHS England chief executive) said the "unprecedented" award recognised the "skill, compassion and fortitude" of NHS staff, who had responded to "the worst pandemic in a century and the greatest challenge this country has faced since World War Two". He added that completing the Covid vaccine rollout - now in its final stages - was "the surest way out of this pandemic" and provided "a sense of hope".'

Buckingham Palace noted, "The most recent recipient of the George Cross is Dominic Troulan, a retired British Army officer and former Royal Marine. Mr Troulan was awarded the George Cross on 16th June 2017 for his actions during the 2013 Westgate shopping mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya." Details of the award presentation will be confirmed in due course.

Afterwards, the Duke welcomed NHS workers, including care staff and respiratory ward nurses, to the gardens of Buckingham Palace for the NHS Big Tea.

More from the BBC:

'Alexandra Heys, nurse ward manager in the respiratory high care unit at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said she felt "honoured" to be meeting the duke and duchess.

"We have all been through a lot, so seeing the public get behind the NHS Big Tea on such as massive scale is an immense boost and really makes a difference," she added.'

The tea was organised by NHS Charities Together, of which the couple became joint patrons in December. The aim of the charity is bringing together the 240 UK NHS charities and harnessing their collective power to the best advantage. Collectively, these charities raise over £1 million per day. This has played a pivotal role in pioneering research, extensive projects and helping patients access care when they need it most. The 'NHS Big Tea' has been described as "an outpouring of love".

With support from retailers and brands, including Morrisons, NHS Big Teas are taking place in schools, community centres and homes all over the country. It's very much a day to come together as communities and families to recognise a year of extraordinary efforts.


 ITV shared quotes from well-known names hailing the tea, such as the inimitable Olivia Colman:

'As ever, I am tremendously grateful for our heroic NHS, but even more so following this very peculiar year.

We are so lucky to have our NHS, and today we will celebrate its 73rd birthday. There is much to celebrate, but also much to be aware of as we try to recover from the past year.

It’s our turn to care for our NHS staff and show them all the love and respect we can, by raising money for the support NHS Charities Together provides.'

More from the Evening Standard:

'England footballer Jordan Henderson who helped put his team through to the Euro 2020 semi-finals, said NHS staff are the “real heroes”.

Henderson, appointed an Official NHS Charities Together Champion in January following his creation of the #PlayersTogether initiative, said: “After the last 16 months, this nation owes so much to the NHS and the least we can do this July is encourage everybody to express their collective gratitude for that selfless support.

“We know as footballers we are often the ones being looked up to, but this is about the real heroes so, from all of us associated with the England football teams, we raise our mugs for the NHS Big Tea with a simple message – thank you.”

Chris Robert, a heart attack survivor, shared why he's joining in today: "Truly, the NHS, I owe them everything."

30 comments:

  1. Fingers crossed Catherine will be given the all clear. Just out of curiosity why do you cover Harry and not usually William. It was wonderful to see William today in his role.
    DD

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    1. This is primarily, as in first and foremost, a blog dedicated to Catherine. Charlotte mentions William of course, from time to time, however here in this space the focus is on Catherine.

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  2. Can someone familiar with UK guidelines desribe what the rule is after a contact? It seems rather peculiar to me that William is not isolating with Kate. Does it mean they weren't together? Or is he excluded becazse he received vaccine earlier than Kate and is fully protected? Does the guideline only apply on the direct contact and not household members of the contact?
    Ella

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    1. If you have been informed that you have been in close contact with someone who is confirmed to have covid, you do not have to isolate from your family, but simply to stay at home and be very careful with your hygiene management.

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    2. Your household does not need to self-isolate with you if you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 or have not received a positive PCR test result,

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    3. I assume is the same rule as in Spain. You isolate of you’re a direct contact. William is the contact of a contact. If Kate tests positive he and their children would have to isolate too.

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    4. I would guess only Kate made contact with this person and since she has been vaccinated and isn’t showing symptoms that only she needs to isolate. Where I live only the person who makes contact needs to isolate unless they develop symptoms.

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    5. The UK guidelines have never once made sense.

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    6. This confirms what we discussed earlier. Kate has to adhere to changing and sometimes confusing Covid rules, whatever they are. She can't" lead by example" by wearing a mask for instance. Now she is vaccinated, has been repeatedly tested negative, has no symptoms, she has to self quarantine.

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    7. William has already had covid19 and has had the vacine as well so probably is not at risk?

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  3. Susan in Florida5 July 2021 at 15:33

    The Duchess is healthy and had the vaccine, so I don’t expect her to get sick. I’m sure she’s sad to miss this event, it sounds like a great way for the UK to honor the NHS.

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  4. Thank you for posting about it even though Kate wasn't there (plus I really like that photo of her that you put at the top of the post)!

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  5. Charlotte, Thank you for explaining why Kate chooses not to be a spreader. She may not suffer, and I understand her desire not to spread to others by engaging in public events. We know she loves Wimbledon and to give that up says a lot. I've always said a William blog would be interesting... just to know what the heir to the heir does publicly to support the Monarchy. Even just a link to "Kate's Husband!" going about his business as Royal - with links you approve to other sources would be interesting to follow, without taking your time to do recaps. Do you know of anyone else following a future King? Gentle reporting is much appreciated.
    Best, Moxie

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    1. Well said Florida Moxie. Kate seems like somebody who is respectful of what needs to be done. Completely with you on the William blog, or any other 'gentle reporting'! :)

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  6. Wow, I read Dss Kate had her second vaccine, what make her need to isolate? Maybe between the jab and total immunity not enough time. Hope she will test NEGATIVE for the Virus. But a very smart move of her.Hope will see her again soon.

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    1. Those are our current rules. Vaccinated or not, if the NHS app identifies you as having been a contact of someone who's tested positive, you have to isolate for 10 days. That rule is set to change next month.

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  7. @Charlotte, thanks for posting about the George Cross. I feel like you covered more general news from the BRF on here in the past? I know, two blogs is a lot and with the harsher tone it gets probably pretty exhausting and frustrating from time to time. But if you could go back to that it would be very much appreciated. Or maybe at least for Wiliam? You do cover Harry a lot over at your blog about Meghan.
    Whatever you decide, thanks for your hard work.
    C.

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  8. I'm glad she is showing no symptoms, and so sorry she had to miss out on this event.

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  9. Qoe why the Duke is not isolating they leave in the same house I hope the duchesss is all be clear

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  10. Thanks for this update! Such a disappointment Catherine couldn’t be here, but I understand. Glad William was able to honor NHS workers. Sue

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  11. If Kate was informed while at Wimbledon, does that mean she came into contact with someone prior to that? Does anyone have a clearer idea?

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  12. Beautiful picture of the Duchess. This is such a pity she can't attend the tennis and the football tomorrow night. It will probably be not able to attend the service for the NHS will be her biggest disappointment. Hopefully she will be OK. Well done to the NHS. S. ☺

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  13. One thing the royals can do is raise money for nurses, NHS ancillary staff and caregivers. These workers are exhausted, chronically overworked, undervalued and vastly underpaid. Will and Kate are superstars among the royals and are much beloved. If there ever was a time to deliver thanks, renumeration is the best way. Cost of living is rising. Housing, food, childcare, taxes, and other basic necessities are getting more and more expensive. The best thanks these people need is a significant pay raise and if they vote to strike, the royals need to stand by them. - Say YES to pay raise

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    1. I don’t think that raising money for public employees is a good idea for royals of any country. Of course they deserve a pay rise but it is not W&K the ones who have to approve it.

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    2. So private employees are ok, but not public employees? People fund raised for first responders all the time. Why not fund raise again for the NHS?

      The government has cut and cut and cut to the point institutions are failing. Check out what happened to a wonderful program, Sure Start that the NHS has reported to help prevent hospitalization and doctor’s visit - which saved millions of pounds. Sure Start provides services to poor children during the key early childhood years. For Americans, it’s somewhat like Headstart but even more comprehensive. The cuts these last several years have harmed the communities most in need. Children placed in care costs money. Why not invest money in preventable programs which in turns save NHS and social services money. Money which can then be used to raise the pay of our hard working public servants. Surely if the royals got a significant raise, overworked and poorly paid public workers deserve one too!

      Say YES to pay raise

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  14. Great news, the Duchess is going to the tennis finials at the weekend. I'm delighted she will be able to attend with the Duke. Would it be to much to ask, that they attend the football as well. Maybe not if she's going to the tennis Saturday and Sunday. Having said that, this match is a very big deal for the UK 🇬🇧. S. ☺

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    1. Valerie in Arizona9 July 2021 at 21:04

      Of course William is going to the football on Sunday :) I doubt Kate can make it across to Wembley in time as, because the Duke of Kent is retiring, I expect she will feel the need to be there after the men's final to recognize his enormous contribution to Wimbledon. Especially as she is next up.

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  15. I know William will be at the football in a official capacity. I meant that the attend as a couple. At the time of writing, I wasn't aware that the Duke of Kent was stepping down. Very good point Val re speeches ect and a possible announcement of who will replace him. I hope you are right on that and it will be the Duchess. It will all depend on what time the mens finials finish. It's an hours drive between both venues but I'm sure with the police driving she would get there sooner. It would be fantastic if she can do both. Best of luck to the UK 🇬🇧 tomorrow.... It's coming home. S. ☺

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    1. Valerie in Arizona11 July 2021 at 00:07

      Even if Italy wins, the Lions have done so very well in the tournament ;) That’s one thing I dislike about sport, if a team doesn’t win on the day, so many shake their heads and grumble, forgetting about the whole exciting experience. Not you of course S. Just making a general comment ;)

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  16. Well said Val, they have done an amazing job to get to the final, both teams. The letter the Queen send them said everything that needed to be said. It's not just about the football. You have some excellent role models. In the papers and on the news for the right reasons. Feeding kids and raising money for charity. The very best of British. S. ☺

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